Derek Johnston (Paladin)
"A cowardly part of me wants to turn away, but I won't. I will stand tall and be worthy of this gift I've been given."
The main character and would-be superhero. Originally from Ohio, he came to Kansas City to study at UMKC. Now a junior, he has friends and a church in the area, but no direction for his life. That is, until an angel visits him and reveals that he has been chosen to be an Anointed, a human able to consciously fight demons on the Spiritual Plane.
By falling into a comatose state, he puts on the Armor of God and joins the angelic host in battling to free souls from the predations of the fallen. He also has angel-like powers in the physical world, including flight, force field projection, and the ability to create energy weapons that stun people. Being a comic book geek, Derek takes it upon himself to use these powers to fight crime as a superhero.
When he's not fighting demons or criminals, he's a laid-back jokester college student who prefers hanging out with his two best friends, Jessica and Sam.
"An angel. You know: warrior, messenger, servant of the Most High? You are one of the Chosen, right? I haven't been following the wrong mortal around, have I?"
Derek's angelic mentor. After his anointing in the antechamber of Heaven, Kael is chosen to guide him and teach him the basics of spiritual warfare. When Derek's soul is active on the Spiritual Plane, Kael is never far away.
Though initially displeased with the idea of our hero using his powers as a superhero, he gradually warms up to the idea. A mid-ranking angel, Kael is fascinated by human culture and creativity and enjoys many aspects of it
"There is a shortage of mortals who do good in this world. I would like to see more."
The commander of Kansas City's angelic host. He is a devoted servant of the Almighty who thinks only of his duty. Millennia of witnessing the deepest depravity of mankind has made Ramusio generally despise the beings he is tasked with protecting.
"If you fail me, the pits of Tartarus will seem pleasant compared to what I have in store for you."
Demon lord of Kansas City. Cunning and manipulative, he contests with Ramusio and his host for control of the city. Tarzael commands every demon in the greater metro area and considers himself the master of every human soul within his domain.
"Does it bother you, waging a war you can never truly win? To fight for beings who don't believe you exist, or if they did, wouldn't care?"
Tarzael's lieutenant and a powerful warrior. He was friends with Ramusio before the Fall. Upon learning of Derek's existence, Tarzael gives his the sole mission of destroying the Anointed at every turn.
Jessica "Jess" Rivers
Jess: The next time someone stabs you in the back, tell them to leave the knife in.
Jess: So I can use it to smash your face in for being an idiot.
UMKC student and Derek's other best friend. She is an RA for one of the dorms on campus, and has a black belt in Ju-Jitsu. Tough and outspoken, Jess is always there for Derek when he needs a hand, no matter what he drags her into.
Sam Van Buren
Sam: Get up. Only a fool tarries in his bed hours after the cock has crowed.
Derek: Is that Proverbs or Shakespeare?
Sam: Van Buren.
Derek's roommate and best friend. An English major and literary snob, he and Derek are often at odds when it comes to their opinions on fine art. Despite knowing each other less than two years, the two are as close as brothers. Sam acts as a spiritual mentor to Derek, keeping him grounded while being an ever-ready shoulder to lean on.