The Corezze household
Hector: head of the 56th tier Corezze family; runs a jewelry business in the city of the Isle
Eliandra: Hector's wife; a Herald
Ellis: the elder of the 22-year-old Corezze twin sisters; a bit of a dilettante who occasionally helps out in the family business
Elana: the younger of the Corezze twins; a linguist who was recently invited for adoption into the 12th-tier Ambrosio family
Marietta: the Corezze's housemaid
Muffin: Elana's pet dog
The Itash household
Zoilo's father: formerly a priest of the Widow
Zoilo's mother: formerly a noble of the 21st tier; for unstated reasons, the entire family was cast down to the 57th tier sometime prior to Zoilo's birth (Zoilo has no idea.)
Ariosto Talvero: 30-year-old eldest son
Theresa: 29-year-old eldest daughter
Zoilo Maroos: 23-year-old writer son; a close friend to the Corezze sisters
Gretchen: the elder of the 21-year-old Itash twins
Gilda: the younger of the 21-year-old Itash twins
Suntory Lee: 19-year-old son; a former paramour of Ellis Correze
Cheval Blanc: 15-year-old youngest child
Mara: the Rich Man
Baldemor Ambrosio: head of the 12th-tier Ambrosio family; secretary to the Bastard
Ronayon: a Piscator who was paid to perform a service for Elana in her capacity as the Rich Man
Anthony: a Herald who delivered the Ambrosios' invitation to the Corezze home
the Tinker (male)
the Baker (male)
the Soldier (male)
the Crone (female)
the Bookbinder (male)
EVENTS OF NOTE:
day 1: A strange 'blue salt' appears on the ground throughout the aboveground Isle, though not on the rooftops or windowsills. Several children die as a result of tasting the salt, and it is rumored that other citizens have suffered various ill effects just from touching it.
day 2: A torrential downpour of rain occurs, during which the animals of the Isle briefly gain the ability to speak. The rain helps sweep away most of the blue salt. A fleet of ships from beyond the wall is rumored to have been sighted approaching the Isle.
day 3: A herald brings a message to the Corezze home from Baldemor Ambrosio, offering to adopt Elana into the Ambrosio family. In the evening, a violent earthquake rocks the Isle, causing massive property damage and injuring or killing many. Among the deceased is Hector Corezze.
day 4: A conspicuous plume of smoke is sighted above the Widow's Peak. In consternation, many citizens gather at the church of the Widow. A massive bolt of lightning then strikes the bell in the church of the Widow on the 56th tier. (Prior to all this, the Herald Eliandra left her home-- intimating that she might not return-- and was seen heading towards the upper tiers of the Isle.)
day ?: At some point that Nikki fails to accurately pinpoint, the sun over the Isle is observed to 'pulse'; and Zoilo, questioning his father about the strange events, receives a cryptic comment to the effect that this has all happened before.
That night, the Hollow appears in the bedrooms of Zoilo, Elana and Ellis, and two other young girls. They are asked to aid her and, upon agreeing, are transported through some kind of portal to what presumably is the Hollow's residence. The Hollow reveals that there has been a series of murders which are cataclysmically affecting 'the balance', and that she herself has just been killed. She loans them each a tool of craft, extracting the promise that they will return the tools after 25 years.
The young people are then sent through portals to what seems to be a different time period, where they are supposed to train in the use of their respective crafts. Elana strikes a deal with the Rich Man Mara and makes a transaction with the Piscator Ronayon; Zoilo exchanges his tool for another (in the process resurrecting the Baker, who had been killed by the then-Tinker); and Ellis promises to teach the Soldier to 'be a woman' in exchange for training, also encountering a Crone and a Bookbinder.
CRAFTS 'LOANED' BY THE HOLLOW OF THE ISLE, AND THEIR BEARERS:
Tailor: unnamed girl
Rich Man: Elana
Poor Man: ?
Beggarman: unnamed girl