Torak is the protagonist of the series. Starting out in Wolf Brother as a mere 12-year-old boy, he battles the evil Soul Eaters throughout the six books of The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, together with his friends, and eventually vanquishes them altogether in Ghost Hunter, the last installment of the series.
Torak has dark skin, and long black hair which resembles his father's. His Wolf Clan Tattoos (dotted lines) are on his cheeks, and are easy to make out due to the contrast of the tattoos against his skin. On his left cheek Torak has a light scar cutting right across the dotted lines of his clan tattoo.
Torak is loyal and brave, but can be very serious at times, and at other times is playful. However, his loyalty and emotions towards others can cause him to be serious and wish to be alone, often putting his life and that of others in danger as he doesn't think things through and often fails to listen to advice given to him. As a result of growing up away from most of the clans, he often feels left out or different, though when isolated he longs for companionship. He is a very good at hunting, especially tracking. He learned tracking from his father, who was later revealed to be the former Wolf Clan Mage.
Torak has many skills, some, such as basic survival skills, are common in the forest (though he has developed more survival skills than most because of his ability to talk to wolves, even though before his father's death, he was very dependent on his father). Others skills, such as Spirit Walking, are extremely rare. Torak can speak wolf, because he once lived in a wolf den due to lack of milk to drink as a baby, which means he has the ability to talk to wolves through body signs, yips, and howling, and can also talk to and command dogs. He also has some experience in healing and herb law, is proficient at archery, fletching, and building shelters. He can also swim very well, but doesn't have as many specific talents (like magecraft) as everyone else because of never having learnt many things, as he and his father were hiding from all the clans in the forest, living on their own. But the main talent his father gave him was tracking. He always finds every tiny sign on the land and knows what it means. Also, although his father was once one of the most evil men in the clans, he taught Torak integrity.
He was born in the Deep Forest, inside the Great Yew, away from the Clans. His mother was from the Red Deer Clan and his father was the Wolf Clan Mage. His mother died when he was three months old and his father was unable to look after him at that time. Instead of killing him he left him in a wolf den with a family of wolves, where Torak stayed for three months. During this time he learned to speak wolf talk. After this his father collected him and raised him. He did so to keep him away from the clans, in order to protect Torak. However, when Torak was seven summers (years) old, his father revealed his existence to Saeunn, the Raven Clan Mage, at a clan meet by the sea. During the time Torak spent with his father, he was taught many skills such as hunting and respect for the forest, his father even tattooed him with the Wolf Clan tattoos, although when his mother died she declared Torak clanless. When Torak's father was killed by the Demon Bear in Wolf Brother, Torak swore revenge. His father made him swear an oath to travel to the Mountain of the World Spirit. On Torak's father's side his grandfather was Wolf Clan and his grandmother was Seal Clan. They had two children - Torak's father, Fa, and Tenris, the Seal Mage. On Torak's mother's side his grandfather was Oak Clan and his grandmother was Red Deer Clan. They had one child, who was Torak's Mother. This means he is kin to Thiazzi the Oak Mage - strongest man in the forest and second-to-last soul eater. Torak fights Thiazzi in the 3rd book and the 5th book.
Story (contains spoilers!)Edit
This is the first book in the series. It describes the journey to the Mountain of the World Spirit made by twelve year old Torak. In the beginning of the book, Torak's Fa dies by a demon bear. Torak swore to his father to ask for the Mountain of World Spirit's help in destroying the demon bear or die trying. On the way, he befriends a wolf cub (whom he named Wolf), who becomes both his guide and pack-brother. Torak and Wolf are captured by the Raven Clan, where he discovers his father's dark past and meets Renn, niece of the Raven Clan Leader Fin-Kedinn, and eventually befriends her. To seek the help needed from the World Spirit, Torak and Renn must collect three parts of the Nanuak, a very powerful set of objects - a lamp, river eyes, and a stone tooth. This puts himself, Wolf and Renn in unimaginable danger... all this while being hunted down by Renn's older brother Hord, the strongest young man of the Ravens, who seeks to kill Torak and give his hearts blood to the World Spirit, this he (Hord) believed would save the Forest and get him the praise he wanted.
When a mysterious illness threatens to wipe out the clans, Torak embarks on a journey alone to find a cure. However, he is taken captive by the Seal Clan. He is taken to the Seal Clan's island where he encounters the Seal Mage, Tenris. Tenris promises to help him make a cure if he obtains the ingredients. Torak agrees and with help from Bale, he successfully gets the ingredients. During his time on the Seal island he discovers he is a Spirit Walker (when he jumped into the water and turned into a fish) and can enter the bodies of other creatures while keeping his own thoughts. Meanwhile, Wolf and Renn, who were following Torak, begin to search for him only to discover that it was a trap and the Seal Mage was the one that was causing the illness by poisoning the berries there. With help from Renn, Wolf, and Bale (and a narrow escape), Torak defeats the Seal Mage and warns the others about the berries.
When Wolf is captured by the Soul Eaters, Torak followed the tracks to the North in an attempt to rescue him, while Renn stalked him. They find the White Fox Clan, who provide them with shelter, food, and clothes. The White Fox Clan warns him to turn back. Ignoring the advice, Torak finds the Soul Eaters' hideout where he discovers their plan to unleash demons on the world by sacrificing hunters (predators of the world) and they plan to control the demons with a Fire Opal. Torak eventually rescues Wolf and escapes. Renn, meanwhile, finds she has the fire opal and realizes she has only one life to give it: her own. Nef, one of the soul eaters, grabs the opal from her and sacrifices herself, to pay back Torak's father, who saved her life, just before Renn is going to jump into a stone chasm. Both Torak and Renn escape with Wolf, but the Soul Eaters have marked Torak against his will as one of them.
When Torak is revealed to bear the Soul-Eater tattoo by Aki of the Boar Clan, he is declared outcast by the clans, and is sent into hiding for if anyone sees him, they will have to kill him. Seshru, the Viper Mage finds out and is on the search for him in an attempt to control his spirit walking powers. Bale and Renn set out on a journey to help Torak and persuade the clans he is innocent, a feat that could mean their lives. Bale and Renn argue at first and do not get along - mostly because Bale is used to more sedentary women at home, and Renn, being fiery, headstrong and capable of hunting and fighting herself, is quite a change for him. Renn, meanwhile, struggles to deal with Bale's prejudices against her and finally both come to the realization that to finish the quest, they both depend on each other. The Viper Mage tells Torak on the island he becomes washed up on that Renn is actually her daughter and Torak refuses to talk with either Renn and Bale until they compromise to help each other. When all three of them return to the Forest they find themselves hunted. Fin-Kedinn makes Torak his son and they use the ancient ritual of sharing blood. Then Torak, quite unexpectedly, gives the Viper Mage the fire opal that she wants. The audience soon realize his plan when Renn aims her bow and arrow at her own mother, the Viper Mage. Since the destruction of a piece of opal requires a life to be sacrificed with it, this act can destroy the second piece of Fire Opal. Bale understands that killing her own mother will taint Renn's soul so he kills the Viper Mage himself. Torak is no longer declared clanless and soon finds out that his mother declared him clanless before she died. The Outcast tattoo is then altered by Fin-Kedinn - the circle divided up into four sectors and filled in with the four colours representing all clans of the Mountain, Sea, Forest and Far North. This declares that in being clanless, Torak is a part of all clans.
Enraged by the death of his kinsman Bale, Torak heads out with Renn to track down Bale's killer - Thiazzi, one of the seven soul eaters. His search leads him to the Deep Forest. He swears an oath to kill Thiazzi, and he discovers Thiazzi's plot to control the Deep Forest clans, unite them and wage war against the Open Forest. It is up to Torak alone to use all his will to stop this brewing war, with the help of Renn. Will he succeed in stopping the war? Or shall he endanger the lives of his friends to avenge his kinsman? He and Renn are separated, while Wolf struggles to come to terms with the fact that Torak is "not-wolf," which devastates him. Renn attempts to fight Thiazzi, but Thiazzi, the huge and dangerous Oak Mage overcomes her and ties her up inside a hollow tree. As smoke chokes her, she cuts herself free on the tip of a knife and climbs to the top, where she aids Torak in getting rid of Thiazzi.
At the age of 15 summers Torak's only foe is the last soul eater, Eostra the Eagle Owl Mage. Torak, Wolf and Renn make their ascent on the Mountain of Ghosts. They brave hordes of tokoroths, evil demon children sent by soul eaters, packs of demon dogs and the merciless winter ice. Torak uses all his knowledge, all his skill in hope of defeating his foe. But, the prophecy does not tell of his victory. Renn, who was left behind, struggles to catch up with him and help, and does so with the assistance of a strange, ghostly boy named Dark. Renn must also decide whether she wishes to take the path of becoming a mage.
Torak is very loyal to his father, which is no great surprise as he grew up with him away from the clans in the wild. It broke his heart when he had to draw the Death Marks upon his father when he lay dying, fatally wounded by the Demon Bear. He takes great pride in his father and his father's knife. The entire first book details his loyalty towards his father as he tracks down the Demon Bear which killed him. He does not allow the memories of his father to be tainted when he discovers of his past with the soul eaters.
Torak has no memory of his mother as she died three months after he was born and his father refused to speak of her, as it saddened him. So for much of his life she was merely the woman who had made his medicine horn and who later declared him clanless. She only became more real to Torak when Fin-Kedinn told Torak that he is like her in many ways and reassures him of her love for him. Fin-Kedinn also reveals that he loved Torak's mother as any man loves his mate but she chose his father. This made him bitter and he refused to help Torak's father, who was once his best friend, to hide from the Soul Eaters. Tracking was his mother's skill which she taught Torak's Fa, who later taught Torak.
When Torak first entered the Raven Clan camp, it was Oslak who took him in and shared his home with Torak. He was generous and kind to him, traits which Torak greatly admired in the man. When Oslak became ill, Torak tried unsuccessfully to help him, Oslak later dying. Torak, torn by guilt, vows to find a cure to the mysterious illness. Even though he had only known the man for several months, he clearly felt a strong bond with the man and was greatly influenced by him.
Torak and Renn have a mixed relationship. It seems that they like each other a lot inside by the end of Wolf Brother but at first they hated each other and were suspicious of one another, but then Renn helped him. Renn is Torak's best friend and they fight all the Soul Eaters together. They care about each other deeply and would do anything to protect each other. Although Torak never really shows that he likes Renn, he says that she is a good pack-sister. Renn is also known as Torak's pack-sister and he, Wolf, and Renn are together most of the time in the series. Renn mentioned a few times that Torak was handsome and that he was tall and fierce. While Torak finds himself naive and confused as his feelings for Renn develop. At times she is impatient, as she and Torak disagree on a plan. Still, they've hugged once and they kissed in the book Ghost Hunter. Renn had even kissed him on the jaw in Oath Breaker. Also in Ghost Hunter, Torak admits that he likes Renn a lot when Dark asks him. Before Bale is murdered he asks Torak what he would think if he asked Renn to be his mate, Torak argues with him and walks off leaving him on his own as he is jealous of Bale for liking Renn too. Torak and Renn make a strong pair and together they save the world from the dangerous, cruel, and menacing Soul Eaters. The characters that they have are amazingly strong which helps them to battle the Soul Eaters. At the end of Ghost Hunter, Torak decides to leave the Clans to return to the life he knew with his father, at which Renn also decides to follow. With her uncle's blessing, they depart with Wolf, Pebble (Wolf's only living cub) and Darkfur, Wolf's mate.
Bale was Torak's only living relative (by the end of Spirit Walker) and one of his closest friends in the series. Torak's grandmother was Seal Clan making Bale his cousin. Despite this the two disliked each other upon first meeting and Torak was reluctant to befriend him. Circumstances however forced the two to work together and they ended up with a good relationship. Torak found Bale to be a good companion and a loyal friend despite their rough beginning, this is proven when Bale travels up the Crag to retrieve Torak's knife in Spirit Walker, and when he comes to help him in Outcast. In Outcast, Bale comes up with a plan to get Torak back into the Clans, again showing his close friendship with him. However, Bale fell in love with Renn (Bale was at first condescending to Renn and then developed respect for her strength and determination, and ultimately he fell deeply in love with her, but Renn showed more love for Torak in the end). In Oath Breaker, Bale asks Torak what he thinks if he (Bale) asks Renn to stay with him at Sea when Torak heads back to the Forest. Torak answers Bale that he didn't care and it was up to Renn herself. As Bale keeps pressing the matter into Torak and insists on an answer, Torak storms off and leaves Bale on his own. Bale later dies, though not at the hands of Torak but of the Oak Mage Thiazzi, who killed Bale when he was alone. When Torak finds out about this, he is filled with regret and rage and blames himself heavily for the death of Bale. So much so that Torak swears an oath to kill Thiazzi and avenge Bale.
Throughout the series the extremely wise Fin-Kedinn acts much as one would expect of a foster father, he gives Torak advice on the issues facing him and he is always there to help him when needed. As one would expect, Torak has great admiration for him and respects him, and he feels honored when Fin-Kedinn fosters him. However, Torak never could read Fin-Kedinn's character as Fin-Kedinn had always hidden it with his unreadable expression. Torak is sometimes unsure of what the man thinks of him and doubts his feelings. In the end however, Fin-Kedinn embraces Torak as his foster son and makes him promise, after he told him that he and Renn were leaving the Clans, that they would return one day to celebrate with him and the Ravens.
Wolf started as a cute, mischievous, wobbly, and innocent wolf cub in the beginning of Wolf Brother. Like many others whom he meets in the series, Torak initially disliked Wolf when the two first met, because he was hungry and wanted to eat the cub but too kind to kill Wolf, and Wolf licked him all over, annoying to the then moody Torak. However, Torak later grew fond of the cub and raised him. Wolf is often described as his guide and as his pack-brother. Torak is dedicated and loyal towards Wolf (and vice versa) and is very protective of him, perhaps more so than anyone else. Torak can communicate with Wolf in wolf-talk (howls and body language). Wolf and Torak are like brothers and are each other's pack-brother. Wolf is the most important thing in the world to Torak, besides Renn. They look out for each other and have an extremely strong bond. Wolf helped Torak get through his Fa's death and Torak helped Wolf get through his pack's death and cared for Wolf when he was a cub. Wolf protects Torak from dangers that he doesn't hear or notice. When Wolf or Torak are in danger, they can howl to each other in their heads. As Torak's guide, Wolf has a strange knowledge about him sometimes. They are always connected and will always be pack-brothers. Wolf states that Torak's purpose is to fight "Bad Taillesses" (soul eaters, or bad people in general) and Wolf's purpose is to chase demons. Together they fight the evil, along with Renn. Towards Renn, Wolf was less warm at first, even after he developed a strong love for Torak and Renn was Torak's friend. He hated her in the first book, though he admitted she was "clever and smart". In the second book he is wary and distrustful, but through the rest of the books Wolf and Renn become friends based on respect. At the end of Ghost Hunter, Wolf manages to guide Torak's soul back into his body thus basically bringing him back from the dead.
These two ravens befriended Torak after a storm where they dropped out of their nest onto Torak's shelter and he cared for them. They were sent by Renn via her doing a dangerous experiment with magecraft to help Torak recover from his soul sickness. Unlike most ravens Rip and Rek don't mind humans and enjoy playing tricks on humans and animals alike. Torak doesn't mind and enjoys the raven's company, though he tends to avoid making a fuss over them when Wolf or Renn are around, in case Wolf gets envious.