- Ryan Cawdor: the youngest son of a powerful baron in Virginia. He first appeared in the novel Pilgrimage to Hell by Jack Adrian. His middle brother, Harvey, is responsible for the loss of Ryan’s left eye after murdering Morgan, Ryan's eldest brother. Ryan’s nephew, Nathan Freeman now controls the barony of Front Royal. Ryan was named after his great grandfather, the original founder of Front Royal. He joined the Trader's convoy approximately ten years before the beginning of Pilgrimage to Hell, at the age of 21. Over the years, he climbed the ranks rapidly in Trader's convoy, soon becoming Trader's second-in-command. It was during this time that he met his best friend J.B. Dix, who joined Trader a little over a year later. Ryan is a master of many forms of combat, including knife fighting, and unarmed combat. He learned a great deal from both Trader and J.B. Ryan was portrayed by Vincent Spano in the Sci Fi Channel original movie version of Deathlands: Homeward Bound.
- Krysty Wroth: A skilled and talented combatant and markswoman. She is a valued member of the companions' party for both her natural fighting abilities and her limited "feely" (precognitive) abilities. She was initially introduced in the first book in the series, Pilgrimage to Hell in 1986, and it was in that book that she established a mutually monogamous romantic relationship with Ryan Cawdor. She is a mutant, though possessing a rare combination of beneficial mutant traits, unlike the myriad mutilated and deformed “muties” the party comes across throughout their travels. Her most notable characteristic is her long red, semi-sentient animated hair as a result of her mutation.
- John Barrymore Dix: J.B. Dix, also known as The Armorer, has been Ryan Cawdor's closest friend and travelling companion since both men worked for and travelled with the Trader. He is a thin, wiry, tough man who wears wire rimmed spectacles and a brown fedora. He is very quiet, never using four words when three will do. He is a living encyclopedia on weapons from pistols to tanks to missiles. He is also an explosives expert and good hand to hand combatant, although only an average shot. He carries a large canvas satchel containing his explosives and other weapons at all times. Born in Cripple Creek, Colorado, he spent his early years exploring the local area and salvaging trade goods(primarily firearms) from abandoned dwellings and shelters. He developed severe claustrophobia in one such incident as he was trapped in a cave-in with a corpse for several days while exploring an old mine. After serving several years serving with the Trader he entered the MAT-TRANS with Ryan and his other companions. He began a romantic relationship with Dr. Mildred Wyeth. He has also learned that he has glaucoma and will eventually go blind.
- Dean Cawdor: the teenage son of Ryan Cawdor. Despite his youth he is a full member of the team of warrior survivors that comprise the primary characters. Dean is the result of an affair Ryan Cawdor had with Sharona Carson when Ryan was still traveling with his old mentor, the Trader. Dean's existence is first revealed in Time Nomads, and he first encounters the group in Seedling.
- Jak Lauren: An albino distinguished in the books by his unusual syntax when speaking. Jak was introduced in the third book, Neutron Solstice. He is a young man, in his late teens, and is an extremely capable hunter and warrior. His signature weapon are his leaf bladed throwing knives, of which he has between 8 and 12 hidden on him at all times, and often uses them as thrown weapons or for melee when guns are inappropriate. He comes from the suburb of West Lowellton in Lafayette, Louisiana, where the group first meet him. At the time,he is leading a group of rebels against an extremely sadistic baron known as Tourment. When Ryan and the other's first met him, and saw just how skillful of a fighter and leader he is, they are surprised to find he is only 14 years old. He is later married to Christian Ballinger, and temporarily leaves the group to settle down in Latitude Zero, but tragedy strikes and his wife and daughter are savagely murdered, and he rejoins the group. In the Deathlands: Homeward Bound movie from the Sci-Fi Channel, his personality was altered to that of a "savage".
- Dr. Mildred Winona Wyeth: A stocky black woman, known for her corn rowed hair, and smartass comments to life in general. She is also a medical doctor from the twentieth century who was cryogenically frozen before the apocalypse event. After her introduction in the series she joined Ryan Cawdor and the other characters in roaming the Deathlands via the Redoubts. She has been romantically linked to J.B. Dix, one of the original characters of the series. Mildred is both a skilled physician and a person to contend with firearms wise, having been an Olympic pistol champion before her cryonic freezing, she has the ability to shoot with a level that almost defies belief, notably hitting Stingwings, small fast terrors that are generally feared in Deathlands, as they attack the group while in flight.
- Dr. Theophilus Algernon Tanner: Also known as "Doc", was rescued by Ryan Cawdor and his people from the ville of Mocsin, where he was being kept captive by Jordan Teague, the ville's baron. Dr. Tanner speaks in a very strange, Victorian way. Physically, he is very tall and skinny. His face is deeply lined and framed by long gray hair. He has perfect teeth and speaks with a deep, rich voice which commands attention. He is a doctor of philosophy, as well as having studied ichthyology. Tanner was actually born on February 14, 1868 in South Strafford, Vermont. During a time traveling experiment by scientists, he was brought one hundred years into the future, to 1998. Since he proved to be a nuisance and kept trying to escape, the scientists pushed him a further one hundred years into the future, to the Deathlands. The time travel has put a strain on his body, and his memory has partly lapsed. His knowledge of pre-apocalypse redoubts (hidden government fortresses) proves invaluable to Ryan Cawdor and his team. He possesses knowledge of several other projects besides the one which "Time Trawled" him to the deathlands time period, notably TITAN, there is a past drug induced psychotic break whenever something brings that particular project to the forefront, and Doc fails to think clearly until the moment passes or he is distracted to another subject. Dr. Tanner was left out of the 2003 film Deathlands: Homeward Bound.
Read more about this topic: Crossways (Deathlands Novel)
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