Thieves & Kings is published by I Box Publishing.
- Thieves & Kings #48: 05 Apr 2006
- Thieves & Kings: Apprentices Book 1: 10 Dec 2008
- none scheduled
Originally an ongoing series, now a series of original graphic novels.
- Rubel is a thief of mysterious parentage. He is the nephew of the thief McGi, who lives in the fairy land, Nove and commands the respect even of great dragons and shadow monsters. A woman named Vera colluded with Quinton to name him Rubel. She may have been the angel from whom Soracia tried to steal Rubel when he was an infant in the Sleeping Wood.
- Rubel grew up in Oceansend, raised by his grandfather who was good friends with Quinton. Rubel was recognized as a thief even as a young boy, fighting wolves and the clever monster Chead (with his friends, the Monster Slayers), and befriending Soracia and the ghost Sara Blue.
- When he turned ten, his grandfather took him to sea where they had many adventures as sailors. However, the jealous Soracia arranged to drive off or kill Rubel's grandfather and all his friends so as to keep her all to herself. When Rubel returned to Oceansend as a teenager, his Princess Katara had disappeared and Soracia ensorcelled him into the Dragon's dreamgarden.
- Since then Rubel has become Heath's paladin, but is still sworn in some ways to Soracia and Katara. He has displayed amazing talents, and defeated Jurid at the height of his power, and Ramanious' other Shadow Lady, Princess Mileshnivoss. He has recently vowed to learn more about where he came from and how he can perform sometimes supernatural actions.
- Heath Wingwhit
- Heath is one of the latest reincarnations of the Red Sorceress, the constantly reborn sister and rival of the Shadow Lady, Soracia. Other reincarnations who figure into the story include Amariah (the first), Trisha Ringlet, and Princess Katara. The Red Sorceress and her sister, Soracia, was created over ten thousand years ago by the nymph Auril. But while Soracia is truly immortal and has lived the past hundred centuries, the Red Sorceress is constantly reincarnated and has to date lived over three hundred lives.
- Heath was born in the country of Asaria but seems to have been orphaned at a young age and her earliest memories are of hard living in several orphanages. She was eventually rediscovered and went to live with her aunt and uncle in the borough of Millbrook, the same household where Quinton was staying during one of his battles with Locumire. Heather, her cousin David, and their friend Finnly helped Quinton against Locumire and her witches and Heath defeated Jurid, a terrible shadow monster. Shortly thereafter she was sent to the dragon's dream garden and then to Rubel's time, a thousand years after hers.
- Being in the same time period as her later reincarnation, Princess Katara, may have driven the latter crazy, but it gave Soracia a chance to redefine herself and leave the service of Ramanious.
- Heath spent a time living with a Highborn family, but left when it began to affect her powers. She now lives with Rubel, her paladin, and Kimithin, another sorceress. They quietly struggle against Prince Kangar and Locumire, but have something of an uneasy truce for the time being. Heath is quickly becoming a powerful sorceress, but not quite so much as Princess Katara.
- Quinton Zempfester
- Quinton Zempfester is a wizard who is millenia old and the counterpart of his evil brother, Ramanious. Possibly because of his age, possibly by choice, and possibly due to events surrounding the Red Sorceress, Quinton acts completely mad.
- However, for those who are clever enough to watch and spend enough time, like Soracia, Quinton's methods seem less like madness and more like an immensely old being playing an immensely deep and layered game. While Locumire contends that he has not a scrap of magic, Soracia suggests that he simply makes magic look invisible. Nonetheless even he cannot remember his long life or all his plans until it comes time for them to take effect.
- Parts of these plan include colluding with someone known as Vera to bring Rubel to Oceansend and bringing Heath Whingwhit ahead in time in order to help free Soracia from Ramanious' servitude. He may simultaneously plan for countless outcomes, but seems prepared for every eventuality in the end.
- While Quinton is nominally a force for good, both Katara and Soracia have cautioned others that neither Quinton nor his brother have more than half a soul and no capacity for love or true friendship. This may be true, resulting from Quinton's long life and long view of his tasks, but Rubel and Heath feel differently.
- At one point, Quinton was known as Kaluvinar and may have taken a more active role in battling his brother, including forging an immensely powerful sword.
- Varkias is a winged imp, who may be immortal, but has a short memory. He is Rubel's companion, and is far more sensible. Varkias was once the companion of the Red Sorceress (in her Trisha Ringlet incarnation, and possibly others) and of Quinton (seen in the Walking Mage series). His demon heritage connects him with one of Ramanious' "Ministers" known as Thane The Ash.
- Princess Katara is still a quite mysterious figure. She, along with Heath, is a reincarnation of the Red Sorceress. She was introduced first as a tragic fairy tale figure who, with the help of Rubel, won a competition with her brother Prince Kangar in order to be named heir. However, the machinations of Kangar and Locumire led to her running away from the castle regardless. In the Forest, she met a troll and after a number of years became the Queen of the Trolls.
- Somehow Katara has retrieved all the memories of all her hundreds of former reincarnations. Quinton believes that these memories, or possibly the arrival of Heath in her time, has driven her mad. The last time an incarnation of the Red Sorceress regained all her memories it was with the help of Rubel's uncle, the mysterious thief McGi. This incarnation fell in love with Quinton and began a family with him, but all save she and Quinton were killed by a jealous Soracia.
- She now seeks to awaken the Clockwork Knights in order to help her troll army fight her brother and Ramanious' Lamp Knights. Quinton does not trust her aims and suspects her of trying to end her cycle of rebirths and possibly destroy the world. She has magical powers that seem to surpass even Soracia's but is still vulnerable to the affections of her childhood Thief, Rubel.
- Soracia/The Shadow Lady
- The Queen of Halves was born Salina, or 'Sally' about ten thousand years ago. Unlike her sister, The Red Sorceress (of whom Heath Whingwhit and Princess Katara are reincarnations), Soracia has only ever lived the one life. While Ramanious boasts that this makes her superior, it has obviously come close to driving her mad.
- What made each of the Sorceresses immortal has not been revealed in story, although a letters page entry by creator Mark Oakley confirms that Auril, one of the Seven Murome in charge of the skies and sun, created Soracia and her sister. Quinton (Kaluvinar) and his brother Ramanious have something to do with it as well, to the point where Quinton claims that if the sisters ever fought he, too would perish. Ramanious maintains that Locumire's immortality "[springs] from his coffers of power," but Soracia's does not.
- After thousands of years of servitude to Ramanious, the terms of which seem to include holding a piece of his soul inside her, Soracia escaped over the course of the first three volumes and has now tentatively allied herself with Quinton, learning higher magic from him. She has declared this life better by far.
- Lucille Locumire is a witch born as a failed reincarnation of the Red Sorceress. Princess Katara contends that when Quinton sought Locumire out as an infant he was desperate to recapture his love with a previous reincarnation (who was nearly killed by a jealous Soracia). Her spirit, about to or just having inhabited the infant Locumire sensed his mad need and abandoned the body.
- Instead of the Red Sorceress, Locumire became a nonetheless powerful witch. Quinton taught her the beginnings of her first spells (perhaps not yet sure of her identity) and even shared a house with her for a year, at the behest of her father. The cohabitation did not end well.
- Locumire's machinations fomented a war in the Duchy of Millbrook, a thousand years before the current story. However, despite Soracia's presence and possibly because Heath Whingwhit defeated Jurid, the local King won. Locumire was defeated and Soracia soon imprisoned under the Dreaming Tree again.
- Locumire next appeared in the setting of the current story, manipulating the King and Prince Kangar of Oceansend. Her witches have infiltrated the palace and she seems to share power with the evil Prince Kangar, who also seems to be in league with her dark master, Ramanious Kath.
- In truth, she may not be too impressive, and many of Ramanious' other servants don't think much of her, but because she is one of Quinton's failures, Princess Katara contends that Ramanious enjoys using her against him.She fared well against the sorceresses Catastrophe and Calypso, but was easily defeated by Heath during a 'moment of power' when she possessed more fully the powers of the Red Sorceress.
- Ramanious Kath, the 'Furious Lord,' is the brother of Quinton Zempfester and seems to be as terrible a force for darkness as he of light. Both are much older than Soracia and the Red Sorceress, but just how old is not clear.
- Ramanious has never been shown explicitly in the comics, though his voice may have been heard. He was certainly asleep for at least a thousand years before the main story begins. He generally acts through minions such as his Ministers (of whom we know of Thane the Ash), his Shadow Ladies (Soracia, Princess Mileshnivoss), Locumire, Jurid, Klachillies the Gorgon, and others. Jurid, in particular, is his literal shadow, which can act independently of him though the two are connected. When Cespinarve Rogue fought Jurid and the Gorgon centuries ago, he injured Ramanious by biting Jurid (though he was poisoned as a result). It is likely Ramanious' voice that emerges from the wine barrel Heath traps Jurid under, demanding that she "Release the shadow."
- He calls his brother 'The Holden Lord' and 'The Fool of the World' but Princess Katara suggests that at one point in their millenia-long war the two came face to face and almost forgave each other. She contends that neither of them have more than half their souls and that loving one another may have restored them. It may be Ramanious' magical influence that is making the citizens of Oceansend xenophobic and violent, the same way Quinton makes people brave and benevolent. At one point, the touch of his mind to Soracia while in a sensitive state drove her to massacre an entire town.
- A plan of his in the past involved sending Jurid and Klachillies to slay dragons, who are charged with important tasks. He was opposed and defeated in this by Cespinarve Rogue. This may have also been the same time when the thief McGi trapped Jurid in a bottle and kicked him out of Nove. Other opposition in the past has come from The Red Sorceress, Progenis The Traveler and Telenvoe. Kath also claims to have been defeated by the people of Oceansend on more than one occasion, which is why his latest plan involves using Locumire's witches and Kangar's cruelty to make Oceansend his own. Princess Katara tells Quinton that Ramanious is terrified of being reduced in stature by over-eager henchmen, but that his cool and capable minions overstep themselves regardeless.
- Kimithin Nashtin is a young girl about Rubel's age with long dark hair. She has become Rubel's girlfriend and lives with him and Heath in the lower part of Highborn city.
- Kim is also the latest identity of Jale, who originally served Soracia and her sister's household thousands of years ago. When Soracia left, Jale and a peasant girl, Morthalanue swore themselves to her. Through some means, they became the souls of Soracia's two swords. Morthalanue is incarnated currently in the form of Kim's unstable best friend Leahanna.
- The Murome
- The seven Murome are nymphs who have been appointed as overseers of the world by the now absent original creator. Each has a certain domain to look after, much like ancient Earth pantheons or spirits.
- Only two murome have been mentioned in the story thus far: Auril and Mileena. Auril's domain is the sun and skies, while Mileena's is the sea. Each nymph may have an associated star, as it was tradition in Highborn a thousand years ago for each boy and girl to choose a star when they came of age. Ben and his daughter, Sara Blue, were sailors and so chose Mileena's star, which had disastrous consequences for them. Mileena killed them both, the former because she loved him and the latter because she did not want Auril to take Sara back to Nove, where she belonged (having fairy blood.)
- Auril is heard but not seen in the Thieves & Kings webstrip 'The Walking Mage' where she interacts with and shows exasperation with Quinton, who is on first name terms with her. She has been revealed as the one who originally created Soracia and her sister. This is described as a very old and powerful spell that even Quinton and Ramanious cannot interfere with directly, although they position themselves to benefit when possible and attempt to direct the results.
- Soracia claims she cannot befriend the Murome, who are immortal like her, because they only inspire self-pity within her.
- Calypso and Catastrophe
- Catastrophe and Calypso are two Sorceresses who are aligned with the forces of good and appear occasionally as mysterious benefactors, but whose true origins and motives are not clear.
- Calypso appeared first in the story and captured Rubel fairly easily, declaring that only a 'woman could catch a Thief.' She did so for the land-bound pirate lord Black Casper, who had a grudge against Rubel. Having discharged this obligation, she left his service and next appeared to Heath with Catastrophe. Mark Oakley has called her the 'Salt Sorceress' and she wears sailor or pirate inspired clothing, implying a close relationship with the sea.
- Catastrophe is known as the 'Eye of Auril' (see below) and has two small mice as spies or companions. She and Calypso have appeared to save Heath twice, first from a runaway spell, the second from the clutches of Locumire. They defeated the Witch Queen's minions, but were hard pressed to do more until Heath experienced a moment of power and won the day.
- Catastrophe and Calypso seem to be tied to the Red Sorceress. Catastrophe knows Varkias, and mentioned Trisha Ringlet in a spell. Later, Calypso admonishes Heath for killing a witch, telling her that she is meant to be a Healer. Catastrophe is also connected with Auril, who created the Red Sorceress and Soracia. Locumire suggests that the sorceresses are about 300 years old.
Thieves & Kings: Apprentices Book 1
This is the current issue, and therefore no story information will be posted about this issue. Please check your local comic shop for copies of this issue.
Thieves & Kings #48
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 1: The Red Book - Collects #1-6. "Introducing the story of the young thief, Rubel. Making his way amidst the powerful events changing his world, soldiers and pirates, kings and magic, and a Shadow Lady of the Sleeping Wood fill his life with gambles and adventure. Does the beautiful princess Katara to whom he has pledged his life really live under a bridge in the darkest corner of the Wood?" - WorldCat - ISBN 0968102506
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 2: The Green Book - Collects #7-16. "Demon traps are built, poisonings endured and dragon dreams journeyed, while mad princes and monsters of every ilk challenge the way for all." - WorldCat - ISBN 0968102514
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 3: The Blue Book - Collects #17-24. "From the dream garden of the Sleeping Dragon, to the tower of the Lost Wizard, the thief Rubel and young Heath make their way." - WorldCat - ISBN 0968102522
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 4: The Shadow Book - Collects #25-36. "The Lost Princess Katara is found, and the Wizard Quinton is held prisoner, while young Heath, who would be a sorceress, finds herself stuck in school. However, unseen treachery and magic lurks in each of their lives, demanding quick wits and bold action from all!" - WorldCat - ISBN 0968102530
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 5: The Winter Book - Collects #37-45. "During troubled times in the depths of a cold winter, Heath Wingwhit and the thief Rubel, -and their new witch friend recently escaped from the dark palace, must together survive the streets of Oceansend even as the Witch Queen plots to destroy them..." - WorldCat - ISBN 0968102549
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 1: The Red Book - Collects #1-6. - WorldCat - ISBN 1936393689 - (forthcoming, July 2012)
Thieves & Kings combines traditional sequential comics with pages of illuminated prose.
Leftover Useful Information
Writer/Artist/Creator: Mark Oakley.
First published in 1994.
These are the order codes and prices as provided by Diamond Distribution. Your local comic shop should be able to order these for you.
Future Publication Dates
Dates subject to change at the whims of the publisher or distributor. Please see the Diamond Shipping Lists for current information.
- Thieves & Kings, vol. 1: The Red Book HC: Jul 2012
News & Features
- 14 Feb 2011 - A Letter from Mark Oakley...