Meet the Cast
Basil insists that he is normal. Sure, he’s awkward and he has some serious social anxiety, but what fifteen-year-old doesn’t? Basil might be nicer than the average person, but he isn’t special. He isn’t different. And he certainly isn’t magical.
The trouble he gets into is coincidental. It’s not like the random accidents, terrifying dreams, and embarrassing situations are due to magical monsters that want to hunt him down and devour his soul. Right?
Wait—creatures with superpowers are a thing?
Aaron is perfect, like precisely folded origami.
He’s smart and he’s popular and he’s athletic (and he sure is pretty…) and, it turns out, he’s also the headstrong leader of five undercover monster-fighting teenage magicians. (But you won’t find that on his resume.)
He’s also not very well-known. Of course, everyone knows about the Serge family (they’re the founders of Tanglewood, after all) but people don’t know Aaron. Aaron’s friends don’t know Aaron. Basil doesn’t know Aaron.
Or does he?
“She’s the town cat,” they say.
Sure, if by “town cat” you actually mean “a highly-intelligent magical creature that has existed since Tanglewood’s founding.” But who’s asking? (No, really. Tell us, so that we can put an end to it.)
Spindle is Aaron’s familiar. In pop-culture, familiars are helpful-yet-sometimes-incompetent sidekicks to powerful magicians. In reality, they’re ancient, they’re motivated, and they’re dangerous. But only if you’re on the wrong side. You’re not on the wrong side are you? Great! Then everything will be just fine.
Eli can be found at every school event, every town-happening, every bizarre twist of fate in Tanglewood, and he always has a camera in hand. He’s the best photographer in Serge Academy’s journalism class, after all. Eli is found where the news is found.
Which means Eli is found where Basil is found.
It’s a good thing that Eli is friendly (and a bit too excited about soul-eating monsters running rampant through his hometown) because he quickly becomes a permanent fixture in Basil’s life. It’s alright, though. Eli’s extensive knowledge of Tanglewood (and the strange things that happen there) comes quite in handy.
Sanjeet isn’t just book-smart; she’s people-smart too. That’s a good thing, since her mom is the town weirdo who insists she can tell the future by reading auras. Sanjeet, though—she’s a good girl. She doesn’t actually believe any of that magic stuff.
She just helps out at her family’s mystic shop as a courtesy to her parents. And she’s been Aaron’s best friend since kindergarten, so it’s not unusual they would spend so much time in weird places together. (Everyone says they make a cute couple.) And that rumor about Sanjeet’s prophetic abilities? That’s just gossip spread by haters.
Oh, and by the way, she was talking to herself—not that weird bird that looks like a blue cardinal.
“Bird-brained” is the opposite of what you’d call this familiar. Twill knows all, sees all, and reports all to his magician, Sanjeet.
That bird hanging out on the wire and eavesdropping on your sidewalk conversation? Yeah, that’s Twill. That unidentified flutter in the treetops as you walk home alone at night? Yeah, that’s Twill too. That twittering, adorable little birdy pecking seed from your palm? Yeah, that’s definitely not Twill.
Of all the familiars, Twill is the most reserved. He prefers to observe, listen, and think before speaking, which is a rare quality among the other familiars. As a result, magicians hold Twill in high regard when it comes to crafting plans that work.
Just don’t tick him off. Twill can be a bit scary when you tick him off.
How is it that someone so mean can be so popular? Maybe it’s Riley’s charming smile, or her perfect strawberry blond curls, or that peculiar talent for making insults sound like compliments. Whatever the reason, teachers love her, classmates want to be her, and Basil somehow finds himself on her bad side.
Well, shit happens, and Riley is full of it.
She would be easy to hate (if Basil hated anyone at all) except that Riley is just way too good at destroying monsters with precision attacks (which is kinda definitely helpful in an unfortunate number of circumstances.) Besides being ridiculously good at her job, she’s also fiercely loyal to her magical friends. So…everyone has their good qualities and bad qualities, right?
Fray is a firecracker.
She’s either completely dormant or she’s on fire, bursting, and likely to take your finger off if mishandled. It’s no wonder Fray is a perfect match as Riley’s familiar. Except when she isn’t.
The kids in Aaron’s magical crew spend most of their time wondering if Fray and Riley actually like each other or not. Sometimes it’s a wonder they don’t kill each other (can familiars even die?) what with the way Fray likes to work Riley up into a frenzy.
Fray considers it good sport. Everyone else wishes she wouldn’t.
There’s one in every crowd, and Eaton is it. If you thought Riley was bad, Eaton is the worst, and unlike Riley, he’s not clever enough to hide it.
Between stints of suspension and barely passable grades, most people wonder how Eaton hasn’t gotten himself thrown out of school by now. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Aaron is his friend (which is another mystery in itself) and Aaron has connections.
People wonder, but they’re not brave enough to wonder out loud. It’s for the best. The last thing you want is attention from Eaton.
Ravel is hungry.
No one knows what Ravel is hungry for. Familiars don’t eat. But Ravel is hungry, and he makes sure his magician, Eaton, knows it.
Maybe the hunger is a symptom of Ravel’s young age. Young familiars tend to be a bit…feral, you could say. But don’t worry about it—Ravel is perfectly under control. As a familiar, he’s bound by contract to follow Eaton’s commands.
Wait. Is that supposed to be comforting?
Noah seems friendly enough. Well-meaning enough. Trustworthy enough. And there’s no doubt about it, Noah is a magician. So why doesn’t he get along with any of the other magicians?
Maybe because the other magicians aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be? Or maybe the problem is actually with Noah? His motive for helping Basil is kinda vague, but when Basil falls in way over his head, can Basil really afford not to trust Noah?
It seems like all of this magic-stuff is pretty shady business. Maybe Noah is just trying to look out for Basil in a way that no one else looked out for Noah.
Yes, Loom is a platypus. And no, he would rather not talk about it. The shape familiars take is a very touchy subject and it’s rude to ask.
Despite sticking out like a sore thumb (anywhere except eastern Australia, that is), Loom insists on being carried everywhere. This often creates an awkward game of “that is definitely not a platypus; it is a strangely-lifelike stuffed animal that I keep hidden in my backpack, and no, I was not just talking to it.” It’s a difficult game to win.
Loom is used to it. Or maybe he isn’t. It’s kinda hard to tell through his cynical personality.