Five. That is how many defenders of Coal Hill there are.
Let's start with Charlie. He's at once the most unassuming of the group, almost always in the background, even when he's physically in front. There is a sense of blandness to him, when compared to the rest of the group, but the genius is revealed when you realizes that he's fully aware. In his eyes, there is more pain and death than any other. When you see him stutter, or make an error, think about how many people did he imprison. What sort of man has a slave every single second of the day, and doesn't think it's odd? Not to say he isn't funny, or cute, or downright cringey at times. But to think he's not threatening, is to misunderstand just what it means to be a former prince. Take away a man's power, and what's left is enough to make the shadows shudder.
But Charlie isn't the one you'd notice first. No, that would be Ramesh. Pure confidence at its best. The first man to go forward into the darkness, and an unwilling semi-leader to the group. (Unwilling leaders often make the best.) He is the bravest, and the one who must try the hardest. Always fighting, always struggling. Perhaps that's why life seems to hate him. He has lost several times over, and before the end of the group's journey, he will probably lose something he can't get back. The nail that sticks out gets hammerred, or cut off, as it were.
Tanya–smart. Young. The one who desires friends the most–and who has gotten them. The only price is a whole lot of alien weirdness, but she's the resident nerd, so certainly she can handle it. So much pressure–do the homework, hack into secret computers, and hope that her mom doesn't notice. If only her father were here, she wishes. He would tell her what to do. That's her fantasy, and she'll have to be disabused of that if she wants to survive. At least Ram will be there to help her, except when he'll be tied up elsewhere.
April. The sweetest little doormat you'll ever see. She would give away five years of her life, if she thought it would give someone else three. She probably doesn't have a dark bone in her body...which is why life has decided to give her one. And boy is it a whammy. A whole essay on Jungian symbolism could be written about it, really. Her almost inevitable slide into darkness makes her the biggest liability, and the fact that Charlie hasn't shot her yet shows that either he's an idealistic idiot, or that he's playing a long con. Taking time to care for her mother, she hasn't had time to be selfish, to be evil. April doesn't know what it means to dance with the devil, but when you need the devil to survive, girl's gonna have to tango. One thing is certain: this does not end well for her.
And then there's Miss Quill. The wild card. She spent her whole life battling to fight oppression, and became the ultimate in oppressed. She has to see her enemy everyday. She would risk her skin above anyone in the rest of the group. Nevertheless, she does feel inside, and if she really was determined to, she could be so much more diabolical than she chooses. Charlie knows this, and behind his pretty, blue eyes, he is almost certainly counting on it.
These are our five players. The kind slave-master, the achiever who has lost so much, the smart immature one, the sweetie who has the heart of a killer, and the mentor who would kill any of them if she thought it would benefit her.
Do you think they have a chance?
We'll just have to wait and see.