The Draic Kin are four beings who came to Earth many thousands of years ago in the Longest Journey. They were instrumental in creating the Balance when the Earth was threatened by Chaos, and they brought the Stone Disk ("forged in the fire of their world") that eventually became the key to the Guardian's Tower. Each Kin bears a 'Dragon's Eye' jewel that forms part of the Stone Disk: part of April's task is to recover those jewels.
The Kin can appear in the form of great dragons - this appears to be their native form - speak a sibilant language amongst themselves, and have the ability to wield powerful magic.
Discovering more about the Kin forms a key part of April's journey. She learns that two of the Kin dwell in Stark, two in Arcadia; this may be connected to maintaining the Balance. It is uncertain if they are able to Shift between worlds, but Cortez is able to keep track of events in Arcadia because "voices" whisper in his ear. He also tells April that he knew Vestrum Tobias when he was just an Istrum. Jacob McAllen also seems able to command forces over the Divide, but this may have something to do with his army of Warrior Shifters. The Kin are capable of living for many thousands of years. The most senior of the Kin appears to be the Old God, who also brought the common ancestor of the Maerum and the Alatien to Earth. The Mother, also known as the White Kin, also seems to be senior, but as she tells April, 'The Mother is eternal, but I am not.' She seems to live on through her children.
As is dramatically demonstrated on the roof of the MTI building, the Kin also have the ability to take human form, and they are by no means always amicable. Shedding their disguises of Jacob McAllen and Cortez, the Green and Red Kin respectively, the two - who address each other as 'brother' - do battle and then plunge from the roof. It is not certain whether the battle had a victor, but April says the pocket watch stopped ticking when Cortez fell from view. However, she does speculate whether a fall like that could kill a dragon. It should be remembered that when Brian Westhouse gave the pocket watch to April it need to be wound by her, as it had stopped ticking some time ago. Because it is revealed that she is the daughter of the Mother, April is technically a member of the Draic Kin, but in her conversation with the white of the Draic-kin during the events of Dreamfall, the white of the Driac-kin states that April is not a dragon but that they are "sisters by dreams" . McAllen seemed to have considered her beneath him, though whether this is because she was raised in a human family, or for some other reason, this is unclear, though it may possibly have something to do with April's father, whose identity is unknown. A passage from Scriptures of the Balance (XI) implies that the Kin are something on a par with the Creator and the All, as well as saying they were "Born of the emptiness between the Stars". April learns much about them in the Enclave's book Secrets of the Draic Kin.
In Dreamfall, there has been a grim development - something is hunting the Kin, an enemy the reborn White Dragon describes as 'not mortal'. According to her, the Old God has now gone silent, and the White Dragon is now the only one of the Kin left; the others have "ceased to be". When April asks what is hunting the Kin, the dragon replies "shadows and ghosts" - she claims "it wants to eat me up". Interestingly, when April asks why this enemy would want to hunt the Kin, the White Dragon responds "So that there's nothing left to challenge it. So that it can run free amongst mortals. So that it can devour, undisturbed." This implies that the Draic Kin acted as protectors and guardians of humanity and the other races in Stark and Arcadia, a role that fits with their assistance in creating the Balance. Whatever this enemy is, clearly the Draic Kin were the only beings who could have challenged it, and now they are gone, it is free to act. Many fans have speculated that this enemy is in fact the Undreaming. However, in The Longest Journey, the Wood Spirit said the Mother had been fighting 'black Chaos', and the fact she eventually died as a result implies it was a battle that had been going on for some time. Therefore, the Kin have had at least one enemy before now. There is no explanation as to why the Chaos Vortex attacked the Mother, though it is possible the Vortex was trying to destroy her egg.
Principal Draic Kin
The Blue dwells in a chasm at the bottom of the Great Sea in Arcadia. He is worshipped by the Maerum as a "god who fell from the sky", and, according to the murals in the Maerum's abandoned temple, is the member of the Draic Kin who brought the Maerum and Alatien to Earth. The Old God is the largest of the Kin: we never see him in his entirety, but his eye alone is as large as April is tall, and his titanic form breaks the surface of the water when he takes her to the Dark People. He offers April a great deal of useful information, including the location of the singularity that leads to the Guardian's Realm. He also mentions the 'Day of Ascension', when the Draic Kin will return home, but doesn't elaborate, saying only that it will not be for a long time and not everything is ready yet. He answers April's question of 'Who am I?' by telling her that her journey began with an answer, and it is only now that she knows the question. Although he is worshipped by the Maerum, the Old God is also served by the mysterious, seafaring Dark People, ordering them to prepare a Star Map for April and to take her to Marcuria. It seems likely that the Old God is the most senior of the Kin, as he commands authority and is clearly possessed of powerful magic, but his only interest now seems to be resting until the Day of Ascension. Ten years after April's journey, something has begun hunting the Draic Kin: an enemy that is "not mortal" according to the White Dragon reborn. The Old God has apparently fallen victim to it, because she cannot hear him any more. This does not seem to have affected the Dark People, and their Library remains a sanctuary, but April is surprised and unnerved to hear this news. However, there is no evidence that the Blue of the Kin is actually dead. According to the White Dragon, he has only "gone silent".
The White of the Draic Kin is the first of the Kin April meets, and apparently, aside from April, the only female member of the Kin. She lives on a majestic cliffside somewhere in Arcadia, in a nest beside a great tree. When April dreams about her, the Mother offers words of comfort but cautions April to be ready for the ordeal ahead. Captain Horatio Nebevay's vessel is also named the White Dragon, possibly named after the Mother. In the Scriptures of the Balance, the story of the Stone Disk mentions the White Dragon. When the Disk was stolen from the Sentinel Enclave, the Mother intervened to stop the Sentinel rebels from removing it, despite being forbidden by the Sentinel Fathers. Presumably, the Mother was protecting the sanctity of the Tower, but she clearly had little faith in the Sentinel's ability to retrieve the Disk. Although she is essentially a gentle soul, the White of the Kin, like all mothers, is also fully prepared to fight to defend her children. A book in the Enclave Library called The Silver Spear of Gorimon also reveals how fierce the White Kin can be. It tells the tale of the Parech of Gorimon who wanted to marry the daughter of the White Kin, 'the most beautiful creature in all the worlds'. When the White Kin refused, the Parech was furious, and ordered the forging of a great spear using magical silver that might be capable of killing one of the Kin. Cooled in the blood of the unfortunate smith who made it, the spear injured the White Dragon but didn't kill her. Enraged, the White Dragon laid waste to the Parech's kingdom. Also, the Wood Spirit speaks of how the Mother battled 'black Chaos', meaning the Chaos Vortex, a battle so intense that it split the very rock of the mountain. It seems that the role of Mother is something the White Dragon carried for only a certain period of time. She tells April that "I am the Mother of what is; but you, you are the Mother of a future that may yet be." Later, towards the end of the story when April realises her true identity and finds the White of the Kin lying in her nest, weak and near death, the Mother tells April: "The Mother is eternal, but I am not." Wishing that she could have seen her children grow up, the Mother perishes, and her body fades away. As she vanishes, the egg in the nest hatches. The White Kin has had at least two children; April, and the unnamed Kin who hatches from her egg and whom April calls 'sister', though the story of the Silver Spear implies there may have been others. The Alatien Teller tells April that "the Kin are secretive, they keep to themselves." In the Mother's case, this seems to ring particularly true; unlike the Old God, who is worshipped by the Maerum, or Jacob McAllen's corporate and religious ambitions in Stark, the White Kin lives high above the world, separate from the other Kin and everyone else, her only interest being to protect and guide her children.
Cortez, aka The Red is an old but athletic Latin American man with long hair in a ponytail. At the beginning of the game, April observes that Cortez spends most of his time on the bench outside the Border House, reading and watching the world go by, and that he actually scares her a little. However, Cortez is the only one who understands what is happening in Venice, and he soon becomes April's friend and mentor. He oversees April's first Shift and outlines what must be done to save the Balance. Finally, he is revealed to actually be the Red of the Kin, and falls from the MTI Building defending April from Jacob McAllen. Given his ongoing involvement with the Sentinel, it is assumed that he was the Kin who founded the order. As 'Manny Chavez', Cortez was a friend of Brian Westhouse in 1930s India, and actually saved Brian's life by pulling him out of a snowdrift in Tibet, in 1934. Brian seems to have fond memories of him, including that 'Chavez' used to "smoke like a chimney". The last time Brian saw 'Chavez', he was given a pocket watch. 'Chavez' told him that "when his heart started beating again, he would know". April managed to start the watch ticking again, but when Cortez fell from the MTI Building, it stopped. The significance of this is not clear, but obviously the implication is that he is now dead. It must be remembered, however, that when Westhouse gave it to her it was not yet ticking again. Cortez is a mysterious character who often talks in riddles. He has a mischievous sense of humour but takes his guidance of April very seriously. He has an interest in art and literature, and frequently visits the Mercury Theatre to watch old black-and-white movies. He seems to have friends all over the city including Warren Hughes, a young artist who lives on Hope Street whose artwork he shows April at the Roma Gallery. Although not a Shifter, Cortez is somehow able to use April's own abilities to open a Shift for her, and when she meets Vestrum Tobias the priest appears to know who Cortez is. Cortez then tells April he has not seen Tobias since he was a young Istrum, and is pleased - although unsurprised - to hear that he has become Vestrum. Just before she accidentally Shifts to Arcadia (in her underwear), April has a dream where Cortez is captured by Gordon Halloway, and later has another dream where she sees him imprisoned in some sort of enormous machine. When she is finally reunited with Cortez, she discovers this actually happened: Cortez says Halloway captured him using a "small army". April's vision of Charlie in the Spirit Dig also mentions how "Cortez the Red" is watching out for her. His relationship with his brother, Jacob McAllen, the Green Kin, is a bitter one. Cortez scorns the life McAllen has chosen, even mocking his attempts to convince Cortez to join him by saying he talks like a badly written play. He is desperate to keep April away from McAllen, to the extent of challenging his brother to a battle and possibly even at the cost of his own life. The question of whether Cortez is still alive does, to an extent, linger in Dreamfall: April tells the reborn White Dragon that "the two dragons in Stark are gone", but 'gone' does not necessarily mean 'dead'. After the credits, there is a short cutscene titled "Tibet, 1933" where Brian Westhouse, struggling along a snowy mountain path - presumably on his way to the monastery - collapses into the snow. He is then rescued by 'Manny Chavez'. Brian appears surprised to see him, addressing him as "old friend", and asks what he's doing there. 'Chavez' replies: "Time is a circle, and you are needed", before helping him up and leading him along the path. Interestingly, dragon motifs are prevalent in Dreamfall; there is a large red dragon design in WATI's reception area.
Jacob McAllen aka The Green Kin is the founder of the Vanguard, charismatic leader of its Stark arm the Church of Voltec, and CEO of Malkuth Technologies Incorporated. Unlike Cortez he has accepted modern life in Newport with all its trappings - he has embraced technology, corporate life and religious expression. McAllen is extremely intelligent and ruthless, and masterful at manipulating people. The crux of McAllen's plan is to place a corrupt Guardian in the Tower and use him to give McAllen control over both Stark and Arcadia. To this end he captured Gordon Halloway - a guardian-to-be - and subjected him to the Vanguard experimentation that split him in two. Gordon eventually became the head of McAllen's secret police, and effective second-in-command: McAllen even trusted him to capture Cortez on his own (with a "small army"). McAllen also uses his technology to facilitate the creation of Warrior Shifters, to hold Cortez prisoner and remove the Red Jewel that he holds. McAllen is a thoughtful, scornful character. He is a calculating man "but not cruel", as he tells April. He appears to have a marked dislike of April for some reason - possibly because, although she is also a member of the Draic Kin, she was raised in a human family. He says he has spent a considerable amount of time and money tracking April, "before you were born, before I even knew your name." This is interesting: it implies that McAllen was searching for the one foretold in the prophecies, but didn't realise she was going to be one of the Draic Kin at first. This may be the source of his antagonism. Despite the fact they appear to be roughly the same age, McAllen has a marked hatred of his brother, and mentions to April at one point that Cortez "broke the rules. He brought you into -- he broke the rules." However, he does try to convince Cortez to join him, saying "the time of dragons has come", but Cortez scorns him and the two do battle. McAllen is last seen in his true form as the Green of the Kin, falling from the roof of the MTI Building. His true fate is unknown.
The Maerum are ocean-dwelling folk ruled by the Maerum Queen. They are a matriarchal society, where the females protect the males. The Maerum April visits live in the Sea of Songs in a magnificent undersea city which they call the "Third City". At the time April arrived, the Maerum were suffering because the luminescent Tanyenn algae that grew around the city was dying out: the light from the Tanyenn attracted fish for the Maerum to catch and kept large predators like the Snapjaw away, so the loss of the Tanyenn was causing them great difficulties. The Maerum were also at war with the Alatien, with the two races calling each other "Wettails" and "Wingdemons" respectively. The Maerum have a strange reputation in Marcuria as 'bloodthirsty cannibal mermen' according to the sailor Umber Ianos, but they don't actually eat people (or each other). Instead, they seem to 'rescue' shipwrecked sailors by bringing them down to their city, as April experienced firsthand. Once there, she was put inside the "Landwalker's Bubble" which was full of air, and decorated with diagrams showing her how to use a polyp in the wall to breathe underwater, and how to use the Tanyenn to communicate with the Maerum. The Maerum Queen told April she would eventually become a "Gatherer" in the city. This suggests the Maerum have a class of slaves, possibly composed entirely of shipwrecked humans and Dolmari, giving rise to the legend of salvation by a "Landwalker". The Maerum worship the Old God, who is actually the gigantic Blue of the Kin who dwells in the deeper oceans. They also venerate the prophecy of the Waterstiller, whose identity will be confirmed by the completion of four tasks: bringing proof of her mission to the Balance, killing a Snapjaw with her own spear, finding the piece of the Stone Disk the Maerum hold, and 'reuniting their people'. The Queen points out that April cannot be the Waterstiller, because the Maerum are at peace amongst themselves, but April finds an abandoned shrine with proof that the Maerum and the Alatien are descended from the Old God, and therefore this 'reunion' means bringing peace to the two races. Once this is accomplished, Tanyenn will become plentiful again and both races will flourish. Interestingly, at VAVA in Venice, April comments on Emma's 'absolutely beautiful' holosculpture that, for an instant, comes to life when her back is turned. The sculpture closely resembles the Maerum Queen. Also, Fiona tells April she had seen an "underwater city" when looking into the canals of Venice.
The Alatien are a winged people who live on the island of Alais. They are famous for their love of stories and apparently have a rich oral history. When April arrived on Alais, the Alatien lived in a small village called Tama'a at the top of the mountain and were having trouble with their wings; the bones were becoming brittle and the Alatien could not fly for great distances. They were also at war with the Maerum, with the two races calling each other 'Wettails' and 'Wingdemons'. The Alatien make pottery to trade, but their great love is storytelling, and their leader is known simply as the Teller. They pass stories on to each other, telling them in their own words - this means that the stories change, but as the Teller explains to April, all stories must necessarily change, lest they cease to have meaning to those who tell them. Some examples of Alatien stories include the Tale of Winds, the Tale of Sea, the Tale of Stars and the Tale of Homecoming; they are simple but powerful folk stories which actually form part of a test before April can meet the Teller. They also have a prophecy about the coming of the Windbringer. Her meeting with the Alatien also allowed April to complete her work as the Maerum's Waterstiller when she negotiated a reconciliation between the two races. This was helped by April's discovery of an ancient city beneath Alais where the Maerum and Alatien had once lived in harmony. From the murals in the Ancient Shrine near the Maerum city, it is suggested that the luminescent Tanyenn algae flourishes when the Maerum and the Alatien live in close proximity, and that it would also help the Alatien recover the strength in their wings.
The Guardian is a person in charge of controlling and channeling the Balance of science and magic between the two worlds. A Guardian of the Balance lives in a tower in the Guardian's Realm, and is replaced every one thousand years by a new Guardian. The Guardian was set up by the Sentinel at the time the Earth was separated into the twin worlds of Arcadia and Stark, one world of magic and one of science. Here the Guardian watches over the balance of magic and science between the Two Worlds, apportioning the two principles between the worlds where necessary. The Guardian spends a thousand years in the tower separated from his/her soul so that this apportioning may be done dispassionately, and is reunited with it when the guardianship is at an end - leaving the tower to enter a world changed almost beyond comprehension in the years that have passed. It is not known how many potential Guardians are in the worlds. April writes in her diary after speaking to Cortez that the Vanguard have been experimenting on 'potential Guardians' and essentially destroying their candidacy, though she may have been referring just to Gordon Halloway. Otherwise, it sounds as if Gordon was the only candidate to survive this experimental process, the exact nature of which is (thankfully) never revealed. The criteria for being a Guardian are never spelled out, but they would likely involve having a personality with a reasonable balance of logic and chaos, courage to face the prospect of being essentially held in stasis for a thousand years, and a strong sense of compassion and justice. There are indications that Guardian candidates are also Shifters. Given the Three Trials a Guardian must face, he or she must also be physically strong and fit, able to use powerful magic, and psychologically stable enough to face their own personal demons. While there seems to be no discrimination of candidates on the basis of gender, it seems that only humans are eligible to be Guardian. If being a Shifter is indeed a criterion of candidature, this may support such a claim - given that it is unlikely that a magical race (who require Arcadia to exist) would develop the ability to go to Stark. In Dreamfall, we learn a little more about an enthroned Guardian. Despite the fact the soul of the Guardian is removed, Gordon is still able to recognise and speak to April. However, his consciousness has been expanded, and he seems to be coexisting with the Balance. He also claims to be a part of, but apart from, the Guardian's Realm itself, allowing him to have control of it. While Gordon is aware of a change in the flow of dreams between the worlds, he says it does not concern the Balance, "so it does not concern me."
The Stone Disk is one of the most holy objects in the two worlds. Set with four 'Dragon's Eye' jewels (blue, green, red and white), the Disk was brought to Earth by the Draic Kin. When complete and with the jewels in place, the Disk acts as the key to the Guardian's Tower; a replacement for the original disk used in the creation of the Divide. The Disk was kept at the Enclave for thousands of years, but after an attempt was made to steal the Disk long ago - an attempt conducted by Tyren soldiers and Sentinel traitors, chronicled in The Scriptures of the Balance (VIII, 16), and foiled by the Mother breaking the rule against Kin intervening - it was divided for safekeeping. Each of the Kin took one of the jewels, and the Disk itself was separated into four pieces. Four of the Magical Races of Arcadia - the Banda, the common Maerum and Alatien ancestor, the Dark People and the Venar - were entrusted with the pieces to await the coming of one who would reconstruct the Disk. This turned out to be April Ryan, though in some cases she had to go through several trials to prove herself. According to Abnaxus, the Stone Disk had recently been mentioned at the Ayrede High Council. Apparently, the Tyren ambassador wanted to know where it was kept. No one at the Council admitted to knowing where it was. The Tyren ambassador was told to speak to the Sentinel about it, but Abnaxus thought it was as unlikely he would condescend to do so as it was that the Sentinel would respond. As the Tyren often act as the martial arm of the Vanguard in Arcadia, it seems likely the Tyren were trying to track the Disk down on their masters' behalf. The Disk had to be reassembled before the jewels could be added. In order to reconstitute the Disk, April returned to the Enclave and placed each piece at points around the edge of a diagram inscribed below the dome. After Crow reluctantly removed the pigeon guano clogging the mouth of the stone dragon overhead, it blasted blue fire - presumably magical - that melted the fragments into a single piece. It was then dropped into the pool in the centre of the Library beneath. Although she had already collected the blue and white in Arcadia, the red and green jewels were not added until April was in Jacob McAllen's laboratory.