Meridian was a comic book series published by CrossGen Comics, and taking place on the planet Demetria, in CrossGen's Sigilverse. It was written by Barbara Kesel, and penciled by a number of artists including Joshua Middleton and Steve McNiven. Meridian ran for 44 issues, from July 2000 to April 2004.
- Main article: Sephie of Meridian
The main character was Sephie, the young daughter of the Minister of the floating island city-state of Meridian.
First Appearance: Meridian 10
Cotson was a member of a nomadic logger's colony on the surface before he met Sephie. After she stays with the loggers for some time, Cotson offers to join her going into the caverns to seek allies. When the people of Anheim offer her a ship, Cotson joins the crew, and soon becomes a Pirate of the Wind. He fights alongside Sephie and the other Pirates at the fall of Torbel, and against Rho Rhustane, and remains a close friend and ally after their return to Meridian.
First Appearance: Meridian 13
Crenner is the grandson of the Minister of Anheim, Geres. His mother died in childbirth. Crenner met Sephie's parents, Turos and Ideria, when he was very young, and Turos predicted that he might end up marrying Sephie.
Following the Pirates' return to Meridian, however, Crenner was not seen. His whereabouts and activities remained unclear through the end of the series.
First Appearance: Meridian 12
Deren Beq was the head of a mining colony on the surface. When she meets Sephie, she decides to join her in her struggle against Ilahn and Cadador. She quickly becomes a loyal and crucial member of the crew, and accompanies Sephie to Torbel, and then to Cadador. In Cadador she helps in the peaceful takeover of the city, and when Sephie is banished by Reesha Teramu, Deren leaves with her.
First Appearance: Meridian 20
Appearing only in two issues, Emir Katana was an independent merchant who owned a transport vessel.
Geres of Anheim
First Appearance: CrossGen Chronicles 3
As Minister of Anheim, Geres rules a small city-state hidden on the surface. Anheim was largely destroyed by the cataclysm which threw many other city-states into the sky, but the city nonetheless continues to thrive. Many plants grow there under Geres' tender care which he specially selected to be able to survive despite the harsh chemicals in the surface's soil.
Some time ago, when Geres was younger, he was visited by the Muse of Giatan. The Muse helped guide him towards rebuilding Anheim's ancient secret city to be enjoyed by future generations. During her time in Anheim, the city was visited by Ideria, not yet married to Meridian's then-Minister-to-be Turos. She spouted prophecy that their daughter would join earth and sky. Quite confused, Turos and Ideria were forced to leave in a hurry for other reasons - their ship came under attack by forces under the command of Ilahn. Ideria left a number of pieces of her artwork with Geres, to give to Sephie.
Many years later, as predicted by the Muse, Sephie comes to Anheim. The Muse appears, almost as if she never left, and presents the artwork to Sephie. After being shown much of what Geres was trying to accomplish, healing the surface through selective breeding of the flora, and being asked to help out, Sephie decides that she has to move on.
Sephie takes a ship built by her father, and heads off to continue to gain support against Ilahn. She also takes several residents of Anheim, including Geres' grandson Crenner, with her.
First Appearance: CrossGen Chronicles 3
Ideria was Turos' wife, and Sephie's mother; she died when Sephie was very young, perhaps in giving birth to her. Ideria grew up on Meridian, the daughter of a family of shipbuilders. She was always interested in art, and spent nearly all her free time drawing and painting.
One day, returning to Meridian for a short time, she ran into Turos and Ilahn, the Minister's sons. Both fell in love with her, but she only loved Turos. She then left Meridian with Turos, to travel the world together. Ending up in Anheim, on the surface, they met Geres, the Minister, and the Muse of Giatan.
The circumstances surrounding Sephie's birth, and Ideria's death, are not known. But it is strongly implied that she never returned to Meridian. She left some of her paintings with Geres, in Anheim, and these are the last pieces of her that Sephie knows.
First Appearance: Meridian 29
Jalea Coraqam was Jon Takarty's first wife, and Jad's mother. She was originally general of the city-state of Aroud, and met Jon when he captained an expedition around the world for Turos and Ideria of Meridian. Falling in love with Jon, she joined the expedition and then settled in Meridian. At some point after Jad was born (but before the events of Meridian #1), she died.
First Appearance: Meridian 3
Jon is the father of Jad Takarty, and one of the Councilors of Meridian.
When he was younger, he was a close friend to Minister Turos, Sephie's father, and captained the expedition in which Turos and his wife Ideria traveled the world. It was on this trip that he first met Jalea Coraqam of Aroud, his first wife and Jad's mother. He also meets Mira Drajuna of Duraka, who returns to Meridian with them, and marries Jon many years later, long after Jalea's death.
When Meridian is taken over by Cadador, Jon leads a group of people into the forests and caves on the outskirts of the city, and eventually to an airship. They travel to Ring City, island of the bookbinders, but are soon forced to keep moving; they find another island, which they dub Hesperia. Through it all, Jon is the charismatic and practical leader of the group. It is here that he marries Mira.
He returns to Meridian when Sephie does, hoping to be given the opportunity to bring more Meridianites, and survivors from the fall of Torbel, back to Hesperia. There, he once again leads a crowd through the caves, where his son Jad faces Reesha Teramu, and is seemingly killed. However, being the natural leader that he is, he does not let his sadness show, and encourages Sephie and the others to move on. She does, and makes Jon regent of Meridian in her absence.
First Appearance: Meridian 42
Lord Birrema is the leader and Sigil-Bearer of a people called the Courabo, who worship a great goddess Solussah. He uses his Sigil to create a sword and shield with which to defend his people.
Birrema is approached by Ilahn of Cadador, who enlists his help, along with three more Sigil-Bearers from different worlds, to eliminate his niece, Sephie of Meridian, as a threat to his rule over Demetria. Returning to Demetria, Birrema helps Ilahn and the others defeat Sephie, but then he realizes his mistake. In touching her, he reads some of her thoughts and memories, as she does his, through the Sigils they both bear; Birrema realizes his mistake in following Ilahn and helps Sephie get back on her feet. He is then defeated along with the others by Sephie, who uses the knowledge gained from Birrema, through the Sigil, to create a suit of luminous armor for herself.
Maraya of Akasia
First Appearance: Meridian 5
Maraya is the Minister of the surface city of Akasia. She is first seen in the series when she rescues Sephie from the wilderness after Sephie falls from an airship, plummeting to the surface. She quickly befriends Sephie, showing her around her city.
Akasia is built on top of highly acidic soil; the city is constantly expanding on one side as the other end gets destroyed. Akasia is also the weavers' city, one of the primary sources for fabric on the planet. Upon discovering Sephie's amazing powers, however, Maraya's friendship with her ends. She decides that Sephie can be an incredible asset to the city, as a slave. Maraya forces Sephie to work along with the other orphans in the dye factory, shackling her leg to the other children. Talking with the other children, Sephie learns that anyone born outside of Akasia must work to earn their citizenship. She soon figures out how to free herself, creating vines out of the wood floor, and snapping the chains. She then tries to rally the other kids to escape, but they refuse.
Meanwhile, Maraya greets Ilahn, who had been informed by the Muse of Giatan that Sephie was alive in Akasia. Once again trying to turn the situation to her advantage, she declares Ilahn a hostage, hoping to obtain some ransom from Cadador. This plan backfires, as Ilahn uses his Sigil to destroy much of the city, as well as Akasia's only trade ships.
Some time later, Sephie returns to Akasia, seeking a trade alliance, and wanting to free the child laborers, offering them a better life. Misguidedly, she destroys the dye factory, thus eliminating the primary industry of Akasia. Many of the children end up leaving with her anyway, going to Hesperia in hopes of a better life.
First Appearance: Meridian 3
Mira was a clerk to the Minister of Duraka when she met Jon Takarty on a trip to Aroud with the Minister. Following the trip, she traveled to Meridian, where she lived and became an integral member of the community before marrying Jon many years later.
Muse of Giatan
First Appearance: CrossGen Chronicles 1
The Muse is one aspect of the ascended Atlantean Danik, also known as the Sidekick or the Mentor. As such, she is close to omnipotent and omniscient, but chooses to guide Ilahn and Sephie, rather than take action herself, for the most part.
The Muse first appears to Ilahn shortly after he gains the Sigil. She spends some time with Ilahn, plaguing him with riddles, and offering vague hints of secrets. She then turns to Sephie and does the same, before Sephie leaves Cadador. The Muse remains in Cadador some time longer, watching Ilahn and subtly prophesying his actions. She then appears to Sephie, on the surface, in the guise of a logger named Ghetan.
The Muse later appears to Jad Takarty, instructing him to take a ship to find Sephie, saying that she still lives, and that she needs him. The Muse also appears to the people of Torbel, demanding that they evacuate the island before it falls.
After Torbel falls, the Muse heals and refreshes Sephie, who exhausted her powers and her lifeforce trying to save the population of the island. Here, she appears as a vague energy form, which touches Sephie with its light, filling her with light and energy.
First Appearance: Meridian 15
Pirates of the Wind
First Appearance: Meridian 15
The Pirates are a group established by Sephie, the Minister of Meridian, to combat the unfair trade practices of her uncle Ilahn of Cadador. They attempt to form a new trade union, circumventing Ilahn's tariffs. Though they engage in criminal pirate activities, it is important to note that they do so relatively peacefully, never killing anyone and only rarely taking prisoners.
In their first assault, they attack the Cadadorian ship of Captain Patgien. Defeating him, they send him home to Cadador with a message of the goals and power of the Pirates. Soon afterward, the Pirates attack a trade convoy along with the help of a ship from the city-state of Massintak. Now consisting of four airships, the Pirates continue to fight Ilahn's monopolistic activities. In Massintak, they join up with Jad Takarty, Feabie, and Zouka. As of the end of the series, the Pirates' continued goals or methods were left unknown.
First Appearance: Meridian 4
Reesha is from the city of Auroud. She travels to Cadador to request that Ilahn become her teacher and mentor. She is much like him, corrupt and powerhungry, and wishes to become the heir to Cadador, and to the economic power that comes with it. Although somewhat suspicious, Ilahn soon agrees to take her on as his student and heir.
Some time later, Cadador is visited by Rho Rhustane, a merchant who is actually one of the First, making him akin to a god. He offers to share his godly power with Ilahn, who declines, wishing to avoid dependence or debt to anyone. Therefore, he gives the power to Reesha. She gains the ability to fly by controlling the winds, create and control lightning, and change her clothes at will, disguising herself. Rhustane then takes Reesha and Ilahn to his home of Elysia.
Upon their return, Ilahn travels to Meridian, leaving Reesha in charge of Cadador.
Following the fall of Torbel, Reesha sneaks aboard Rho Rhustane's ship, disguising herself as a stowaway, and joining up with the refugee Meridianites who seize the ship. She goes with them through a series of tunnels under the island, which they hope to take to the surface to surprise and overwhelm the occupying Cadadorian forces. Reesha tries to take over the group by eliminating and replacing Jon Takarty.
First Appearance: Meridian 10
Rho Rhustane, known as Rhorf on his home planet of Elysia, is one of the First, a race of incredibly powerful beings who believe themselves to be the gods that created the universe. As such, his power is nearly limitless. He is immortal, near-invulnerable, can teleport and fire energy blasts.
Rho is first seen in the series when he meets with Ilahn to make a business proposition. He offers Ilahn a portion of his power, but Ilahn refuses, believing that this would make him a vassal. However, Ilahn's student Reesha then asks if she could take him up on his offer, and so Rho grants her a portion of his power.
Soon, Ilahn manipulates Rho into taking him (and Reesha) to Elysia, where Ilahn quickly discovers his ability to absorb the First's life-energy. Rho is then ordered by Ingra, head of one of the First's two Houses, to return to Demetria, where Ilahn uses his new-found ability to extort Rho, forcing his control over him. Ilahn sends Rho to Meridian with a twofold mission. First, he must oversee the creation of a new warship, and second Rho is asked to reeducate the inhabitants, preparing them for further Cadadorian control. He takes the ship to the airspace previously occupied by the island city of Torbel, where he finds Sephie and her Pirates of the Wind. He then begins to cannon her ships, and ends up fighting Sephie directly. Even though Rho has an obvious godly advantage, Sephie eventually figures out how to siphon his energies. Rho is forced to flee, but not before learning from Sephie about Trenin & Yala's interference with Samandahl Rey. He returns to Elysia and is not seen again on Demetria.
Turos of Meridian
First Appearance: Meridian 1
Turos was Sephie's father, and the Minister of Meridian. He was raised on Meridian, the older son of the Minister. He fell in love with Ideria Garsken, the daughter of a major shipbuilding family. After spending some time fighting over her with his brother, Ilahn, she chose Turos, and the two began a journey to the surface. Both Turos and Ideria wanted to see the world, wanted to explore, and were in no hurry to settle down in Meridian. Sephie was born some time later.
Many years later, after Ideria's death, Turos was visited by a bird, who granted him a Sigil. However, due to the poisons his brother had been secretly slipping him, the shock of receiving so much power killed him. The Sigil was then passed to Sephie, along with the Ministership.
- Ilahn of Cadador - Sephie's uncle, Minister of the city-state of Cadador.
- Jad Takarty - Sephie's friend since childhood, and her main love interest in the series.
- Kesel, Barbara. Meridian. Issues 1-44. Tampa, FL: CrossGen Publishing. 2000-2004.