Aurelio Rumbal (oh-REE-lyoh rewm-BAHL), or Rombal, or Rubal, or Robal, a revolutionary who has been to America and has come back to Región. He is a teacher in a high school, an intellectual who, with his wife, prepares the intellectuals of Región for a confrontation with conservative forces. The multiple names by which he is known provide a clue to the nature of all the characters: The author is giving a blurred picture of men and women seen through the veil of memory.
The Intruder, a newcomer to Región. He appears with a golden coin; he is representative of the outsiders who will dispute the rights of the natives of Región to their land. He has been working in a mine, and on most nights he goes to play with the young people in town, among them Gamallo.
Gamallo (gah-MAH-yoh), one of the players at the game of cards with the Intruder. He loses all of his wealth and, ultimately, his fiancée, María Timoner. She accepts her fate and goes with the Intruder.
Marré Gamallo (mah-RAY), Gamallo’s daughter, now a commander of the Nationalist Army trying to reconquer the territory of Región. She is a hostage of the Republicans, and she becomes the lover of Juan de Tomé, one of the leaders on the Republican side.
Doctor Daniel Sebastián
Doctor Daniel Sebastián (seh-bas-TYAHN), a physician who established a clinic in Región. He devotes all of his care to only one patient, the Boy.
The Boy, a mentally retarded youth who has been left to the care of Doctor Sebastián and Adela, his maid. The Boy will spend the period of the Spanish Civil War waiting for the return of his mother; at the end, after Adela has died, he will kill Doctor Sebastián.
The Numa (NEW-mah), a mythical guardian of the region, a figure whom no one has seen but who nevertheless dominates the imagination of the people. The legends that surround him explain that nobody is safe in his territory because he hunts and kills trespassers. The fact that he has killed his father enhances his mythical leadership among the people, who incessantly recount his exploits, feeling that they are safe under this vigilante.