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"'Did he realize what I really was?'
'I have no idea what you really are,' said Zihre, sounding exasperated.
―Madame Zihre's opinion of Penric[src]

Penric kin Jurald was a sorcerer originally from Greenwell in the Cantons. A much lesser son (the seventh child, with three older brothers and three older sisters) of a minor lord, he was intended to be married off to a neighboring cheese merchant's daughter until he abruptly contracted the demon Desdemona at age 19.

Penric married Nikys Khatai at around age 31. They went on to have two children, Florina and Llewyn. Nikys miscarried their hoped-for third child. They later adopted a young shiplost girl, Otta, who carried a very young demon.


  • His first 19 years were spent near Greenwell.
  • Age 19: He then spent some time in Martensbridge.
  • Ages 19-22: He spent three years at the seminary in Rosehall in the Weald.
  • Age 23: Spent a year in the Weald learning about shamanism.
  • Age 24: Back at Martensbridge, spent about a year learning medicine.
  • Ages 24-29 were spent mostly in Martensbridge, except for:
    • Approximately age 25: Attended a temple conclave in Carpagamo.
  • Age 29/30: Spent 1 year in Adria.
  • Ages 31-?: He lived some years in Orbas; he married Nikys near the beginning of that time.


"Her first thought was not man, or woman, but ethereal."
―Nikys' first impression of Penric[src]

He had bright-blond hair and "luminous" blue eyes. His skin was much paler than the color of most people in Lodi, Orbas, or Cedonia, making him stand out in many of the places he lived and traveled. He was quite tall and relatively thin. Many women and homosexual men (and at least one heterosexual man) seemed to find him attractive.

When he disguised himself as a woman, he was also extremely attractive.

Desdemona used her powers to keep him young, or perhaps young-seeming. Even when Penric was 40, he still appeared to be in his mid-twenties.