Meet the cast of characters of The Beta-Earth Chronicles, Books 1 through 6.
~ The Renbourn Tribe of Beta-Earth, Books 1 through 4 ~
Introduced in Book 1, The Blind Alien ~
Dr. Malcolm Eric Renbourn – Birthed: March 29, 1985, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States of America, Alpha-Earth. Beta birth year: 1690? Correlation to Beta moon and day: unknown. Doctorate in American History, Shippensburg State College, 2000. Captured and blinded in Bergarten Institute of the Science of the Species, 1720.
Thirty-five-year-old Dr. Malcolm Renbourn is an underemployed, impoverished history professor who considers himself a failure when he is captured in a cross-dimensional device that drags him from Alpha to Beta earth. Blinded in the capture, Malcolm is the subject of torturous experiments for months before he escapes to the country of Rhasvi.
In Rhasvi, Malcolm comes to understand the polygamous customs of Beta-Earth as he becomes the center of an increasingly important tribe. Because of his unique genetics, scientists of the powerful Collective wonder if his DNA might contain the cure to the ancient Plague-With-No-Name that kills three out of four male babies their first year.
Wanting to protect his family, Malcolm hopes his sharing of Alphan knowledge and products might keep the Collective from imprisoning the Renbourn tribe. For twenty years, this conflict will determine many of the Renbourn’s movements and actions.
Bar Tine Renbourn Sofig – Birthed: 1696.3.33, Archal, Balnakin. Property of the Country of Balnakin. Graduated: Wostra Stadsem for Literate Assistants, 1720. Freed and bonded to Renbourn tribe in Wellneee, Rhasvi, 1722. Mother: Becky (daughter) 1723 (birthed at Hearthstone, Rhasvi.) Divorced: Dellmire, Alma, 1727. Murdered: Dellmire, Alma, 1730 in book 2.
Blonde-haired, blue-skinned, gentle-hearted Bar Tine was a Balnakin slave assigned to become Malcolm Renbourn’s first teacher of the Betan language of Alma. Ultimately, she sacrifices herself to help Malcolm escape to the free country of Rhasvi.
Imprisoned in an underground Balnakin Rehabilitation Center for many months, Bar is finally freed in exchange for a collection of Malcolm’s tissues containing his DNA. Joining the small Renbourn tribe in Rhasvi, Bar puts her artistic eye to good use as she helps put Malcolm’s Alphan stories into understandable form on Beta.
Then came the disaster in Bergarten, the largest city in Balnakin. Thousands of Balnakins died in an epic explosion that started in the laboratory that brought Malcolm from Alpha. Blaming herself and her fellow Renbourns for the catastrophe, Bar left the family, divorced Malcolm, and remarried a fellow artist named Wend Sofig.
A short time later, Bar was assassinated by an enraged Balnakin. after her murder, she became a disembodied spirit watching over the Renbourn tribe until her transformation in book five.
Lorei Caul Renbourn – Birthed: Near Rofvig, Rhasvi, 1690.13.2. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: Home of Centel Loes Teaub near Rofvig, Rhasvi, 1721. Mother: Loes (son) 1722; Morei (daughter) 1724 (both born at Hearthstone, Rhasvi); Denos (son) 1731 (Island Bilan).
Blind from birth, Lorei is blessed with gift of foreknowledge and a special connection with the goddess, Olos. Throughout her years as a Renbourn, the graceful, dignified farmgirl is an important leader in her family, her prophecies often determining decisions the tribe rarely likes as their circumstances become more and more complex and dangerous. Many prophecies are allegedly due to the will of Olos, who is often a very harsh deity.
Elsbeth Caul Renbourn – Birthed: near Rofvig, Rhasvi, 1692.5.65. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: (Same as her birth-sister, Lorei Caul). Mother: Bethmal (daughter) 1722; Malbet (son) 1724 (both birthed in Hearthstone); Holjo (daughter, born Samlon Blan, 1730); Dona (Island Bilan, 1732).
Curvaceous, plain-faced Elsbeth is an expert botanist who supervises the family’s large gardens at all their estates.
Joline Sonam Renbourn – Birthed: Icatah, Aufrei, 1699.11.43. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: Wellneee, Rhasvi, 1721. Mother: Jolcolm (son) 1723; Moline (son) 1725 (both born at Hearthstone); Qere (son) 1730 (Samlon Blan, near Maron, Kirip).
Raised among the cliff-dwellers in the ice country of Aufrei, like all her people, Joline is a head taller than most other Betans. Because of her physique and beauty, she becomes a displayer of Al-Beta garb, one of Malcolm’s businesses that help raises funds for the family. A noted poet, she ultimately becomes a valuable assistant to Malcolm when he becomes Duce of Alma.
Alnenia Ricipa Renbourn – Birthed: Deff, Rhasvi, 1698.2.33. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: Hearthstone, Rhasvi, 1723. Graduate: School Himmini, 1722. Mother: Sikas (son) 1727, Malnenia (daughter) 1730) (both born at Samlon Blan); Epidon (daughter, Island Bilan, 1733).
Unlike the rest of the Renbourn tribe at that time, the husky and thick-skinned Alnenia came from a prosperous and privileged family. She quickly became the manager of family accounts. Alnenia’s wealthy father, Sikas Ricipa, became an important advisor to Tribe Renbourn throughout the series.
Doret Galess Renbourn – Birthed: place unknown, probably near Atok, Rhasvi, 1699? Raised from birth at Abbool Hollow-Bone Ordinem. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: Samlon Blan, Maron, Kirip, 1726. Mother: Malet (daughter) 1730 (born at sea on “Barbara Blue”) Colmet (daughter) 1732 (Island Bilan); Alean (daughter) 1736 (Four Corners, Hitelec).
The result of an unsanctioned scientific experiment, Doret is a dwarf who was abandoned by her parents and left in the care of a monastery, the Abbool Ordimem of Hollow-Bones. Raised to live her life centered on spiritual activities, Doret is surprised when Malcolm draws her into the Renbourn tribe.
Once she joins the family, Doret quickly becomes a partner with Lorei, and the two constantly work on keeping the tribe centered on the divine mission they believe was ordained by the goddess, Olos.
Introduced in Book 2, The Blood of Balnakin ~
Kalma Salk Renbourn – Birthed: 1695.34.3, Bergarten, Balnakin. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: Bergarten, Balnakin, 1730. Mother: Lius (son) 1733 (Island Bilan); Kalmeg (Four Corners, 1740).
Brown-skinned, gold-eyed Kalma was raised in a rich family that disapproved of blue-skin slavery in Balnakin. However, she was brought into the Renbourn tribe very much against her will. Her stubbornness melted when she accepted the reality she was prophesized to be the means for the healing between the Renbourns and the dark-skinned Balnakin people after the wrath following the Bergarten disaster. Her father, Lius Salk, became an important ally to her bond family. Trained in global commerce, she became the overseer of all Renbourn international accounts.
Oja Yenned Bolvair Renbourn (formerly the Dotesr Bolvair) – Birthed: uncertain. Her personal history is very much a mystery and the subject of much speculation and investigation throughout the series.
While introduced in book 1 as marketing advisor to Joline Renbourn, Oja is bonded to Malcolm Renbourn legally in 1730 after the family is exiled to Kiript. As Oja is lesbian, she does not share a physical or loving relationship with Malcolm. At the time of their bonding, Oja thinks she is dying from the Body-That-Eats-Itself and wants to ensure her artificially-injected son, Pere, (born 1726) gains his true paternity and that her fortune will go to the family Oja has served so diligently. Her love remains with her longtime consort, Bli Swellard.
In Book 3, When War Returns, Oja becomes one of the most notorious monsters in history when she deliberately infects the Prince of Alma with a fatal, sexually-transmitted disease before she drowns herself.
Introduced in Book 3, When War Returns ~
Sasperia Thorwaife Renbourn, Ducai of Bercumel – Birth: 1715, Dellmire, Alma. Bonded to Renbourn Tribe in 1732 in an arranged marriage to give Malcolm a legitimate title, the Duce of Bilan, in the Alman Mentala. Mother: twin sons Gunmar and Malcolm Renbourn II, 1736, in captivity, Dellmire, Alma); Vlandrax (son, Dellmire, 1740)
Born to a mother with enhanced genetics, Sasperia’s metabolism gives her tremendous physical strength, superior memory, an overheated personality, and, at first, a resentment of mere mortals like the Renbourns. For much of book 3, Sasperia is an active enemy of the Renbourns, constantly inventing schemes to diminish their reputations and place herself in control over the family. By the final chapters of book 3, Sasperia has come to her senses and allies herself with the family as a bloody civil war erupts in Alma.
Introduced in Book 4, A Throne for an Alien ~
Elena Richelo Renbourn, Liege of the United States of America – Born: 1719, Hitelec, the second daughter of Queen Moy of Hitalec. Bonded to Renbourn tribe: 1739. Mother: Tusgin Richelo Renbourn (son, born at Four Corners, USA, 1739); Moycolm (daughter, born Four Corners, 1741)
Destined to serve her older sister Bet when she ascended to the throne of Hitelec, the long-haired, long-limbed Elena was unexpectedly forced to make Bet abdicate as a result of her attempt to kidnap Renbourn children in a scheme to force the Renbourns to support her irrational power grabs in the Gravsean region of Beta. Due to the excessiveness of the Shadow-kins commanded by Bet’s lover, who incestuously was also her former father-in-law, the Renbourn security chief, Noriah of the Willing-Horse, is killed in a battle at Four Corners, the Renbourn stronghold.
As a result, Bet Richelo is sent into exile and Malcolm Renbourn became the Consort-Liege to the Queen of a country Elena renamed the United States of America.
Jona Solem Renbourn – Born in jungles of Verashesh, 1715. Helprim introduced in Book 3 but bonded to the tribe in Book 4 to give her artificially-injected children legitimacy – Yilmud (son, Island Bilan, 1732); Vera (daughter, Four Corners, 1741).
Jona is a highly skilled medical doctor schooled in genetic studies who came to the Renbourn family to supervise studies of the bloodlines of the Renbourn children. Known to have the most minimal of personalities, Jona bonds to Malcolm not in a love match, but rather as a way to bring her children into the Renbourn tribe.
~ Supporting Players in Books 1 through 4 ~
Lius Salk – Father of Kalma Salk Renbourn, Lius had built his international shipping empire of Mhelapras relying on very strong moral values. For one, he refused any involvement with the Balnakin custom of slavery and chose his five wives from believers in the New Dome Church of No-Stratas, founded by the eminent Devlin Joco Llyam.
At first Lius is strongly opposed to the bonding of his daughter with Malcolm Renbourn, believing dark skins should never lay with light-skins. After accepting the prophecies of Lorei Renbourn, Lius becomes an important ally to the Renbourn tribe in books 2-4.
Mari and Sari Denoshih (allied to tribe, 1723, Hearthstone) – These twins joined the very young Renbourn tribe and stayed with them throughout all their travels and adventures.
Yil Rimudas and wives (Dona, Larikey, Hin), six children – In 1725, the Rimudas family became help hands to the Renbourns at Hearthstone. Property managers in their home country of Kirip, the family expanded on these duties at the various Renbourn estates for the next 15 years.
Captain Kaj Ovideal and the crew of the Barbara Blue (1728) – When Malcolm Renbourn bought the Barbara Blue yacht, its longtime captain Kaj Ovideal and his crew (including three of his wives) signed on to stay with the ship’s new owners.
Noriah of the Willing-Horse (Samlon Blan, 1729) – A Shadow-Kin from Rigel, Noriah joined the family as security chief before her murder in battle in Book 4.
As characters from previous books were transformed in the opening chapters of Book 5, The Third Earth, when six Renbourns are forced to cross the dimension between Beta and Cerapin-Earths, they will be re-introduced here.
Dr. Malcolm Eric Renbourn – In the transfer to Cerapin-Earth, Malcolm’s sight is restored and his biological clock is reset to make him 20 years younger, at least physically.
Elsbeth Caul Renbourn – Elsbeth is the only member of her family not to be transformed in the transfer other than to gain twenty-years of her biological clock reset. On Cerapin, Elsbeth births her daughter Olrei three years after the transfer, date unknown in Alphan or Betan calendars.
Lorei Caul Renbourn – In the transfer, Lorei splits her consciousness with Doret, who remains on Beta-Earth. As a result, both Lorei and Doret are able to share their experiences across the multi-verse. Lorei finds a priestess of the single-bodied “Nams” and the two join forces to help end Nam indignities on Cerapin.
Jolbar Renbourn – In the transfer, the consciousness of Joline and the spirit-entity of Bar fuse into a new being, their shared body divided between their two Beta-selves. One half has the buttery locks of Joline and her finely shaped features; the other half has Bar’s pudgier features and one blue eye.
As all the Renbourns are forced to split up and travel different paths on Cerapin, Jolbar is the only Renbourn wife to stay with Malcolm throughout all their adventures.
Kalnenia El and Le – In the transfer, Kalma and Alnenia become an identical pair looking much like normal Cerapin pairs. In their new bodies, each wife has the puffy forehead-lobes that cover the organs that permit them to not only share their thoughts, but also their physical sensations together simultaneously. They have the usual long, wolfish teeth of Cerapins and, most obviously of all, share the huge, protruding, squared jaws and wide feet. Their bodies have natural markings on their otherwise grey skins, multi-colored splotches, streaks, and uneven stripes illustrating their limbs and torsos.
Because of their transformation, the Kalnenias plead for Malcolm’s permission to bond with a male Cerapin pair, the Onab brothers. Malcolm does so and each ex-wife bears pairs of sons for the Onabs.
Pidghe El and Le – At first, the Pidghe pair are house servants assigned to Malcolm and Jolbar before they seduce Malcolm partially to fulfill their secret duties as spies but also to gain acceptance in the only household on their planet where a man appreciates their especially bright minds and mental possibilities, as well as their, on Cerapin, unusual facial features. Unlike most Cerapin pairs, the Pidghe girls don’t have puffy foreheads, long teeth, huge chins, or large feet. As a result, they are considered extremely ugly by their kind but, in Malcolm’s opinion, considered rather cute.
After many twists and turns in the relationship, Pidghe are ultimately accepted as members of the Renbourn Tribe of Cerapin-Earth and become the final wives of Malcolm Renbourn.
~ Tribe Renbourn of Alpha-Earth in Book 6, Return to Alpha ~
The major characters in Book 6, Return to Alpha, are children of Malcolm Renbourn and four of his wives from both Beta and Cerapin-Earths ~
Malcolm Renbourn II – The Betan son of his namesake and his mother, Sasperia Thorwaif Renbourn, the Ducei of Bercumel, a member of the ruling Mentala of the country of Alma. His birth had come about under special circumstances. His mother was from a bloodline manipulated by the scientists of the Collective that had given her mutant enhancements that are both physical and mental in the hopes of defeating the genetic Plague-With-No-Name. Sasperia Thorwaif was able to throw huge boulders long distances and leap into trees. Mentally, she could remember everything she had ever heard.
When the Alman War erupted, Sasperia, now pregnant with her twins, Malcolm II and Gunnar, was imprisoned which is where her sons were born. The father’s plague-free Alpha genes, combined with Sasperia’s enhanced metabolism could “jump over” the diseased genes in Betans, resulting in a genetic ladder that could be given to all Beta mothers whose children would be free of the curse that had defined their world for as long as history had memory.
While an infant when it happened, Malcolm Renbourn II had long been praised as being one-half of the salvation of Beta-Earth. As his father had been taken to Cerapin-Earth when he was very young, Malcolm II had no personal memories of his father beyond the international legacy the Alpha-Man had left behind. Malcolm II too had the legacy of his mother’s mutant genetics and the more than likely destiny that he would one day take her seat in the Alman Mentala, a future responsibility he had dreaded since childhood.
Kalmeg Renbourn – Kalmeg is almost an exact duplicate of her mother, Kalma Salk Renbourn, a richly chocolate brown-skinned woman from the country of Balnakin on Beta-Earth. Kalmeg is equally dark, and shares her mother’s entrancing and distinctive golden-yellow eyes. Like her mother, and most all Balnakin women for that matter, Kalmeg is an intense personality who does not suffer fools gladly and despises anything she considers wasting time.
Unlike her half-brother, Malcolm Renbourn II, Kalmeg had lost both her birth-parents when she was but an infant. Kalma Renbourn had unhappily joined with her husband and four of her bond-sisters to go to Cerapin earth. So Kalmeg had been raised by the mothers who remained on Beta – Sasperia, Elena, Doret, and Jona – as well as some of her older half-sisters not to mention considerable affection and interest from her grandparents and many of her mother’s family who were never strangers in her life.
A woman of many abilities, Kalmeg had always found it difficult to find a distinguishing role for herself in a tribe so large, so spread in its international reach, with such a powerful history on three continents. By going to Alpha-Earth on the spaceship Merivurn, she could show the same bravery as both her birth-parents. She could represent the dark-skinned bloodline of not only Tribe Renbourn, but Beta-Earth as a whole.
Olrei Renbourn – While born on Serapin-Earth, Olrei’s mother, Elsbeth Cawl Renbourn, had been one of the five Betan wives who had accompanied their husband on the second cross-versal jump from Beta to Serapin. Back on Beta, Elsbeth and her prophetess sister, Lorei, had been the first wives of Malcolm Renbourn, “The Alpha Man.” In the years to come, Elsbeth had born four Alpha-Beta heirs, children that tore at her heart when she and the other members of her family had to leave their rich and full lives behind to do the bidding of the often harsh deities.
Olrei was Elsbeth’s first child on Cerapin, and her origins were more than special. For while Olrei was still in her mother’s womb, Elsbeth sat at the bedside of her dying birth sister who was being transfigured into a spiritual entity in her final moments. Before her passing, Lorei touched Elsbeth and sent into her offspring Lorei’s powerful gift of prophecy. From her birth, her father always said Olrei’s face was that of an “old soul,” looking much wiser than her years.
Still, Olrei Renbourn was much like her warm, gentle, nurturing mother. While Elsbeth had always thought of herself as a simple, plain-faced farm girl, no one would call Olrei plain. She has a girlish, feminine, welcoming face that has a reddish hue. Her eyelashes are so long and thick, she can’t blink without seeming to be flirtatious even when flirting is the last thing on her mind. Her face matches her rounded, curvaceous figure that is another gift from her mother.
Malcolm Renbourn III – Born on Cerapin-Earth, the sixteen-year-old Malcolm Renbourn III is the first son of Malcolm Renbourn and Pidghe El, one half of the identical Cerapin sisters who became the last of Malcolm Renbourn’s wives. As his mother didn’t have the typical Cerapin characteristics of large lobes or protruding chins, Malcolm III also only bears subtle signs of his Cerapin bloodline. He has a comparatively flat forehead and a more Alphan-like chin than most of his species, but his skin is unusually gray-tinged with the Cerapin markings of colors all across his body. His face is filled with the confidence of youth, his lower lip pushed out as if he is challenging and daring the world to take him on.
Hamed El and Le – An identical pair of brothers from Cerapin-Earth, the Hameds are the pilots for the Marivurn spaceship, a craft especially designed to cross the multi-verse on the day when a window between the three universes open to such travel.
Each brother has the puffy forehead-lobes that cover the organs that permit them to not only share their thoughts, but also their physical sensations together at exactly the same times. The Hameds have the usual long, wolfish teeth of Cerapins and, most obviously of all, share the huge, protruding, squared jaws that would have made them look simian if they had any facial hair. Like most of their kind, they have hair only on the tops of their heads, but it is cropped so short, they look nearly bald.
Their bodies have natural markings on their otherwise grey skins, multi-colored splotches, streaks, and uneven stripes illustrating their limbs and torsos. Like all their kind, they have extremely large feet.
Without question, the Hameds are among the most courageous Cerapin pairs in their planet’s history. Because of the specialized operating systems of the Merivurn, only a pair could do all the coordinated steps necessary in the seconds it took to go from launch to ascent to the barrier-jump – the most painstaking and precise of all their calibrations – to descent to landing. On two planets – first, landing on Beta, then on to Alpha. Only a pair with interconnected minds could move quickly enough. And volunteering to pilot the Marivurn meant the Hameds were going on a one-way voyage with no return home possible.
~ Two Important Alphans ~
Major Mary Carpenter – A former infiltrator in the Western Alliance on Alpha-Earth, Mary was transferred to the battleship Clinton of the Southern Union where she was tasked with interrogating the aliens from Beta and Serapin. When they are taken to the elaborate prison called The Citadel, Mary becomes their principal watcher.
Doubtful of most of the aliens’ claims, Mary finds her religious beliefs preclude her accepting the cosmic missions described by the Renbourns. Beautiful, intelligent, and trained in many military skills, Mary quickly catches the eye of Malcolm Renbourn II.
Akito Kawahara – A Japanese-American confined to The Citadel after his parents are convicted of spying for the Japanese. An electronics expert, Akito is enamored with Olrei Renbourn, with whom he shares a blossoming romance.