Characters (Warning - contains spoilers)

Introduced in Redemption (Ryan Drake 1)

Ryan Drake

Drake 2

Occupation - Shepherd Team Leader (Former SAS operative)
Date of Birth - 02/08/72 (35 years old as of Redemption)
Height - 6'1"
Weight - 190lbs
Hair - Brown
Eyes - Green
Nationality - British 

Bio - Ryan Drake was born in 1972 in London, England. His high school reports indicate he was intelligent and quick to learn, displaying excellent problem solving skills. Despite showing talent at most physical activities, Drake performed poorly in team sports, preferring solo activities, particularly amateur boxing. 

Drake left school to study structural engineering. Following the sudden death of his father, Drake quit his degree and  turned to boxing for a time, enjoying some success until an injury against a lightly regarded opponent left him sidelined for six months. With no means of income, Drake instead turned to the armed forces, enlisting in the Parachute Regiment in 1996. 

There he quickly found a new sense of purpose, and impressed his superiors with a combination of dedication and natural ability. In 2000 he passed selection for the Special Air Service, serving a tour in Afghanistan where he was awarded for gallantry in combat. A year later, he was selected to take part in a special composite task force called 14th Special Operations Group. Little is known about this group except that they were heavily involved in counter-insurgency work in Afghanistan.

From 2004 onwards he has worked with the CIA as a Shepherd, part of an elite team formed to locate missing agents.

Skills and Abilities - As an experienced special forces operative, and later a CIA paramilitary officer, Drake has benefitted from a wide range of training and skills. He is an effective military planner, able to find innovative solutions to difficult problems, and is noted for being able to react to changing circumstances and think quickly on his feet.

Current Status - Active

Anya (Last name unknown)


Occupation - Former paramilitary operative (Codename: Maras)
Date of Birth - Unknown
Height - 5'9"
Weight - 140lbs
Hair - Blonde
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - Lithuanian

Bio - Anya was born in Lithuania some time in the late 1960's. Her exact place and date of birth, even her last name, is not listed on any official records. 

Very little is known about her early life, but it is believed her parents died when Anya was still a child. With no next of kin, she was taken into care by the State and placed in an orphanage. However, a confrontation with an official resulted in her being transferred  to a young offenders institution where she was to spend the next three years.   

Eventually released in 1983, she immediately set about planning to defect to the West, and made good her escape several months later. After being passed around, unwanted, by various governments, she eventually came to the attention of Marcus Cain, who recruited her into the CIA  in 1985.

Her first assignment was with a paramilitary group informally known as Task Force Black, sent into Afghanistan to conduct clandestine raids against the Soviet occupation.  The operation was a resounding success, and Task Force Black were deployed there numerous times over the next several years. However, in 1988, Anya was captured during an operation behind enemy lines and taken by the KGB for interrogation. For over two months she was systematically tortured and abused, refusing to give up any information. Anya subsequently escaped and returned to the United States. 

Following a lengthy rehabilitation period, she returned to Task Force Black as the new operational leader, taking the group into numerous conflicts and black operations over the following decade. 

In 2003, Anya went rogue during a mission in Afghanistan, and was last seen heading for Iraq. CIA retrieval teams were sent after her, but before they could find her she was captured by the Russian FSB, and taken to Khatyrgan prison in Siberia. She remained incarcerated there until 2007, when a Shepherd team was deployed to recover her.

Skills and Abilities - Despite several years of imprisonment, Anya is a highly capable and resourceful operative, able to draw on a wide variety of skills and experiences.

  • She is extremely proficient at all forms of combat, as evidenced on several occasions where she is either able to kill or disable armed opponents with relative ease. Her skills in this area are aided by her uncanny ability to perceive subtle shifts in posture, expression and body language, effectively telling her what her opponents are about to do. This same skill can also be used to tell if people are lying or holding something back, which makes her extremely difficult to deceive or manipulate.
  • She has an excellent knowledge of firearms, able to quickly recognise and catalogue any weapon she sees, and occasionally using that knowledge to her advantage.
  • She speaks a number of languages, notably Russian, Lithuanian, English and Arabic. She speaks English with a slight accent, though she is able to mimic regional accents where the situation demands. However, doing so requires a great deal of concentration, and she prefers not to if she can avoid it.
  • She also appears to possess an excellent memory, able to easily recall email addresses and phone numbers that haven’t been used for several years.

Current Status - Active

Keira Frost

Occupation – Shepherd Team Specialist (Technical Support)
Age - 29
Height – 5’3”
Weight – 118lbs
Hair – Dark brown
Eyes - Hazel
Nationality - American

Bio – Enlisted as a signals technician in US Army before transitioning into the Defence Intelligence Agency. Subsequently recruited into Shepherd program as a technical specialist. 

Frost is skilled at computer hacking and bypassing electronic security systems, but is noted for being fiery and temperamental with co-workers. She harbours a particular dislike of Dietrich, believing him to be a liability to the team. Her attitude softens towards him somewhat following the successful recovery of Drake from Iraq, though she later asserts her wish not to work with him again.  

Frost generally treats her team mates with a combination of hostility and disdain, often directing particular ire towards Drake for what she perceives as his unreasonable demands on her time and technical skills. However, despite her protests she has been shown to be extremely loyal towards him, risking her career and even her life on numerous occasions to provide Drake with the help or information he needs.

Despite her diminutive size and her role as a technical specialist, Frost is shown to be a formidable opponent, both with firearms or her bare hands, and seems to feel almost no fear when engaging far larger and stronger adversaries. She also demonstrates an ability to use the environment or random objects as weapons, for example throwing hot coffee over an opponent during an ambush in her hotel room.

John Keegan

Occupation – Shepherd Team Specialist (Sniper)
Age - 48
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 160lbs
Hair - Blonde
Eyes - Grey
Nationality - American

Bio – Former FBI sharpshooter, joined the CIA in 2001 to serve as an assassin. Nominally attached to Shepherd program as a Specialist but occasionally takes part in his own operations. 

Keegan is a superstitious man who always wears a lucky charm necklace while on operations. 

Generally displaying an easy-going, laconic attitude that stands in sharp contrast to Frost's high-strung and fiery personality, Keegan serves as a calming and restraining influence on the team. His Southern accent and down to earth language mask a surprisingly keen and analytical mind, and he often demonstrates considerable powers of deductive logic, for example correctly deducing how Frost had been kidnapped from a hotel in Afghanistan.

Jonas Dietrich

Occupation – Shepherd Team Specialist (Interpreter)
Age - 44
Height – 6’0”
Weight – 170lbs
Hair - Black
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - German (became an American citizen in mid-1990's)

Bio – Enlisted West German Intelligence service in mid-80’s, planning and executing counter-espionage operations against USSR. Moved to United States in 1991 and started working for CIA’s Special Activities Division, eventually transitioning into Shepherd program. Became a Team Leader in 2002, but demoted to Specialist following allegations of misconduct by Drake. Harbours a deep resentment of Drake as a result.

Speaks fluent English, German and Russian.

Dietrich's personality is marked by a strong sense of persecution and resentment towards Drake, who he blames for his demotion to Specialist. He often displays a cold, sarcastic and even aggressive demeanour, showing very little concern for the safety of his comrades. During the raid on Khatyrgan prison his lack of teamwork almost compromised the entire operation. However, his attitude slowly changes following Drake's abduction of Anya, and he even begins to acknowledge that his demotion was brought about by his own arrogance and pride. 

Marcus Cain


Occupation – Deputy Director of CIA (formerly Director of Special Activities Division)

Affiliations - CIA, US military, NSA, The Circle
Age - 57
Height – 6’0”
Weight – 180lbs
Hair – Brown-grey
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - American

Bio – Recruited to CIA not long after leaving college, quickly rising through the ranks to serve as close advisor to the director of Special Activities Division. Served as part of a think tank on ways to undermine Soviet authority in Central Asia, and was instrumental in the creation of Task Force Black.

Recruited Anya into the Agency and subsequently formed a close relationship with her.

Not much is known about the enigmatic Marcus Cain, save for snatches of information provided by Anya which suggest he was once a righteous and idealistic man striving to do the right thing. What is known for certain is that Cain has repeatedly proven himself to be a skilled and dangerous adversary to his enemies, easily anticipating and foiling plots against him, manipulating others into carrying out his own plans and more than willing to sacrifice innocent lives along the way.

A charismatic leader, he is able to inspire considerable loyalty and devotion amongst those subordinate to him, and is generally regarded as a rising star in the US intelligence community. However, his outward appearance of charm and patriotism serves only to mask a cold, calculating and increasingly ruthless mind.  

Anya's pre-occupation with other more pressing concerns has limited her contact with Cain since her release from prison, though she has since turned her attention back to her former mentor.

Dan Franklin

Occupation – Director of Special Activities Division (formerly Director of Shepherd Program)
Age - 38
Height – 6’0”
Weight – 175lbs
Hair – Blonde
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - American

Bio – Franklin was formerly US Army, serving in several units before ending up in 14th Special Operations Group alongside Ryan Drake, eventually becoming good friends. Injured in a road-side blast that left him with severe spinal injuries, he was forced to retire from frontline service. He was recruited by the CIA to head up the newly formed Shepherd Program in the belief that such an organisation should be directed by a man with first hand military experience. 

When Drake left the military, Franklin was instrumental in finding him a job within the Agency.

Introduced in Sacrifice (Ryan Drake 2)

Samantha McKnight

Occupation – Acting Shepherd Team Specialist (Explosives and Special Weapons)
Age - 32
Height – 5’8”
Weight – 130lbs
Hair – Reddish brown
Eyes - Hazel
Nationality - American

Bio - Samantha McKnight is an explosives expert, formerly serving with the US Army's Explosives Ordinance Disposal corps before joining the Agency in 2005. She is seconded to Drake's team during their operation in Afghanistan as an acting Specialist, using her expertise to investigate the Black Hawk crash site. 

McKnight generally displays an upbeat and approachable personality, working easily alongside her Shepherd team comrades. She is however unafraid to voice her opinions and doesn't hesitate to argue with Drake when she has a point to make. She will also work independently of the team to follow up her own leads.

She also demonstrates considerable knowledge of modern weaponry, correctly deducing that the weapon responsible for shooting down the Black Hawk was an American-made Stinger missile. McKnight is combat trained like all field operatives, and shows some proficiency with firearms during an armed attack by Horizon personnel.

Richard Carpenter

Occupation – Director of Horizon Defense Solutions
Age - 66
Height – 6’2”
Weight – 173lbs
Hair – Grey
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - American

Bio – Richard Carpenter is the CEO of Horizon Defense, a Private Military Company operating in Afghanistan. He was formerly a General in the US Army, specialising in planning clandestine missions behind enemy lines. He retired in 2003, forming Horizon that same year. Under his leadership, the company grew rapidly until it rivalled large firms such as Blackwater in terms of manpower and resources. 

Carpenter displays a brusque, clinical personality, his outlook shaped by a long life of making hard decisions and sacrificing individuals for the greater good. Despite this, he commands considerable loyalty and respect amongst his subordinates, and is a competent and decisive leader.

Matthew Cunningham

Occupation – Freelance mercenary

Affiliations - Horizon Defence Solutions, Special Air Service 

Age - 46
Height – 6’1”
Weight – 198lbs
Hair – Dark brown/grey
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - British

Bio - Cunningham is Drake's former CO in the SAS, and acted as a mentor to him in the early days of his military career. Following his retirement from frontline service in the British army, Cunningham gravitated towards the PMC market and subsequently began working for Horizon.

Following the exposure of Horizon's illegal activities, Cunningham went on the run and vanished. Drake and his team subsequently encountered him a year later in Libya, where he was working as a freelance mercenary. Despite their differences, the two men agreed to work together, subsequently parting on relatively good terms.

Cunningham is both highly trained and experienced, having served in a number of conflict zones throughout his career, and is proficient with both firearms and in hand to hand combat. He feels some remorse for his involvement in illegal activities in the past, is loyal to those who prove themselves to him and is sympathetic towards Drake. Cunningham generally displays a brisk, coarse personality and has little time for those who challenge his authority.   

Introduced in Betrayal (Ryan Drake 3)

Anna Miranova

Occupation – Federal Security Bureau operative
Age - 41
Height – 5’9”
Weight – 145lbs
Hair – Black
Eyes - Grey
Nationality - Russian

Bio – Miranova is an operative first encountered during an attack against a Russian diplomatic convoy in Washington DC. Drake is able to successfully rescue Miranova from the trunk of a car before it can be driven away by the attackers, though he is unable to save the life of her commanding officer, who it was her duty to protect.

Miranova effectively becomes Drake’s partner for the duration of his mission to Russia, acting as his liaison with the FSB and providing him with useful advice about the local environment. Like all FSB field operatives, she is well trained in firearms, combat skills and other tradecraft, and is able to use this at various times to aid Drake. It is mentioned when Drake first meets with her that she has an old but still noticeable scar running down her jaw on the left side, suggesting she has seen active combat, though its origin isn’t explained.  

She generally displays a cool, aloof personality, rarely allowing people to get close to her but making fairly astute observations about them in return. She also displays a penchant for philosophical debate, particularly when Drake questions the methods and leadership of the organisation she represents, and quite rightly points out that the CIA is little different.

Viktor Surovsky

Occupation – Director of Federal Security Bureau
Age - 66
Height – 5’11”
Weight – 160lbs
Hair – Grey
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - Russian

Bio – Viktor Surovsky is the aging but formidable head of the Russian FSB, running the organisation with ruthless efficiency. He first rose to power in the wake of the Beslan Massacre, taking over as provisional head of the FSB and pledging to wipe out domestic terrorism in Russia. Such was his success that he was eventually made permanent Director.

His past is only revealed gradually, but it eventually emerges that he served with the FSB’s predecessor the KGB, where he was heavily involved in the war in Afghanistan. Surovsky would be dispatched to the most crucial areas of the war zone where the situation threatened to spiral out of control, and for this he became known as the firefighter. He was also responsible for recruiting operatives to serve as moles within the United States, one of which happened to be a young woman from Lithuania named Anya.

He formed a close bond with her during her training, coming to think of her as something like a daughter. However, he was furious and deeply hurt when he learned she had turned against the USSR, and resolved to track her down and punish her. This he did, capturing her in Afghanistan and subjecting her to torture and interrogation to get her to admit she was working for the Americans. She never did, and eventually Surovsky tired of his work. With the war in Afghanistan turning against the Soviets and the Red Army pulling out, Surovsky ordered her executed to cover up his failure, little knowing that one of his own men had taken pity on her and spared her life. This decision would one day come back to haunt him.

By 2008, Surovsky has become an aging but imperious figure in the FSB, feared by most of his subordinates, weakened by ill health and embittered by past failures. He is generally cynical and distrustful of others, seeing enemies in every shadow, and only agrees to letting Drake assist his own people after Miranova vouches for him.   

Buran Atayev

Occupation – Terrorist leader 

Affiliations - Anya
Age - 50
Height – 5’9”
Weight – 182lbs
Hair – Brown
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - Russian

Bio – Buran Atayev is the civilian leader of a terrorist group which has been targeting senior Russian government officials and business leaders,  capturing and brutally torturing them before executing them. Little is known about his goals or motivations initially, except that each of the victims is found with the word GUILTY carved into their chest.

Despite his non-military background, his terrorist group does display a surprising degree of sophistication, both in their operations and equipment. It is soon discovered by Drake and his team that their success has been largely due to the experience and operational skill of Anya, who appears to have joined them as an active member.

Atayev himself is described as a small, unassuming man of middle age, being neither charismatic nor imposing. He does however possess a formidable intellect and a far-reaching strategic outlook that allows him to consistently outmanoeuvre his adversaries, and make smaller sacrifices in pursuit of his ultimate goal. He displays a particular penchant for chess, which likely appeals to his logical mind.   

Introduced in Black List (Ryan Drake 4)

Alex Yates

Occupation – Computer hacker
Age - 27
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 162lbs
Hair – Brown
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - British

Bio - Alex Yates is a British civilian with a talent for computer programming. His talents led him into the field of illegal computer hacking, and together with two friends from university, they formed the hacking group that would eventually come to be known as Valhalla 7. Their collective talents brought the group a string of hacking successes, and their infamy quickly grew, though Alex was always the centrepiece of their operations.

However, their run of success also brought them to the attention of the British government's cyber crime division, ultimately leading to Alex's arrest. He declined an offer of amnesty to betray his fellow group members, and was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison for his efforts.

Since his release, Alex has maintained a low profile, working in low paid jobs and maintaining a small flat in London. He has also cut all contact with his fellow group members, unwilling to risk his tentative freedom by returning to his old life.

However, all of this changes one day with the arrival of an old friend, and the offer of a lucrative but dangerous job.

Although lacking any military or survival training, Alex is both resourceful and intelligent, able to find novel solutions to problems that others with more experience would fail to see. He also proves to be surprisingly resilient, surviving beatings, a fall down a steep hillside and even near-drowning in freezing water. However, his greatest asset is his formidable memory, which allows him to recall complex information with near photographic precision. This allows him to quickly and easily assimilate new information, and grants him a great advantage in his hacking exploits since he remembers virtually everything he sees.

Jason Hawkins

Occupation – Black Ops team leader
Age - 42
Height – 6’3”
Weight – 195lbs
Hair – Dark brown
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - American

Bio – Jason Hawkins is a CIA field operative introduced during the hunt for Alex Yates, a computer hacker who has inadvertently come to possess classified Agency computer files. Right from the start, Hawkins makes it clear that he is now in charge of the operation, and that all decisions are to come through him. A search of his personnel files reveals little about him, save that he is formerly US special forces, and that his service record was heavily redacted. However, it is revealed later that Hawkins was once considered for induction into Anya’s own Task Force Black, but that he was refused on the grounds that he lacked restraint and was psychologically unstable.

This didn’t impede his career for long however, and he was subsequently recruited to the newly formed 14th Special Operations Group, where he was able to use his dubious talents to their fullest effect.

Hawkins is described as very large, both tall and heavily muscled, and this physical presence combined with his dominant personality makes it easy for him to intimidate others. He is however capable of being charming and persuasive when it suits his purposes, and it is implied that women seem to find him attractive, at least initially. He generally displays a genial, talkative persona, quickly taking control of conversations and simultaneously using humour to put people at ease, while subtly making it clear he is to be obeyed at all times.  

However, when it comes to combat situations, Hawkins is a ruthless and efficient killer who has no problem sacrificing innocent lives to achieve his ends. On more than one occasion he has murdered civilians without hesitation. Uniquely amongst other characters in the series, he appears to be more than a match for Anya in hand to hand combat, as the two engage in a brief but violent confrontation while she tries to buy time for Alex to escape. Hawkins’ formidable size and strength allow him to dominate the fight, though it ends inconclusively as Alex returns and intervenes to save Anya’s life. The confrontation leaves Hawkins with a prominent scar down one side of his face.

Hawkins is also a skilled tactician, able to correctly deduce enemy strategies and come up with novel ways of countering them. Despite his tactical skill, he frequently employs direct and violent measures to subdue his enemies, using superior numbers and firepower to his advantage.

Introduced in Deception Game (Ryan Drake 5)

David Faulkner

Occupation – British Intelligence case officer

Affiliations - Special Air Service, The Circle 
Age - 52
Height – 5’9”
Weight – 160lbs
Hair – Blonde
Eyes - Blue
Nationality - British

Bio – David Faulkner is a case officer with the British Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI-6. Little is known about his early life, however it is revealed by Matt Cunningham that Faulkner was once an officer in the SAS, and that he served in Ireland during the Troubles in the 1980’s, responsible for interrogating suspected Republican operatives. His exploits there made him both famous and infamous in equal measure, with his fellow officers regarding him as a highly effective officer, but generally keeping him at arm’s length.

At some point in the 1990’s Faulkner transitioned into MI-6, though he still retains ties to the Regiment, and was apparently responsible for selecting Drake to join 14th Special Operations Group. For this reason, Drake has a very troubled relationship with him.  

Faulkner generally displays a narcissistic and flamboyant persona, using colourful metaphors to illustrate his points, dressing in expensive suits and dying his hair to appear younger. Drake even speculates that he may have had cosmetic surgery based on his unusually youthful appearance for a man in his 50’s, and it is implied at one point that he may be bisexual. However, this outward display of charm and sophistication hides a deeply masochistic streak, and it is revealed that during his time in the SAS he would frequently ‘go too far’ during interrogation sessions, employing torture for its own sake.

Introduced in Ghost Target (Ryan Drake 6)

Vizur Qalat

Occupation – Inter Services Agency (ISI) commander
Age - 49
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 164lbs
Hair – Black
Eyes - Brown
Nationality - Pakistani

Bio – Little is known about Qalat’s early life. However, what is known is that he joined Pakistani military intelligence at some point in his early 20’s, using his position to aid the CIA’s efforts in neighbouring Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. He appears to have been involved in numerous plots and machinations inside his own country, including helping to facilitate a military coup. In the words of Marcus Cain, he is a man who has been at the periphery of major events for the past two decades, but has somehow managed never to get caught up in them.

It is also implied, though not currently elaborated on, that he has a prior working relationship with Marcus Cain, no doubt stemming from their mutual involvement with Afghanistan. Whatever happened between them, it appears this work ended acrimoniously.

Though Qalat’s motives and intentions remain unclear, he appears to be deeply suspicious of US involvement in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has been actively working to undermine them. He was at least partially responsible for the bombing of Camp Chapman that killed numerous CIA personnel, and appears to be part of the group harbouring Osama Bin Laden.

Qalat is generally shown to be cool and reserved around others, giving away little but constantly observing them. Unusually for a Pakistani citizen, he seems to have little religious commitment, at one point regarding a mosque with disdain as he passes. He is a formidable strategist, able to both conceive complex plans to manipulate his opponents and to think quickly under pressure if they try to put him on the back foot. During a tense meeting with Cain where his very life is at stake, he is able to hold his own against the formidable CIA leader and even negotiate a way out for himself.  

Introduced in Shadow Conflict (Ryan Drake 7)

Riley (Last name unknown)

Occupation - Black Ops member, Undercover Operative
Date of Birth - Unknown
Height - 5'5"
Weight - 131lbs
Hair - Blonde
Eyes - Green
Nationality - American 

Bio - Little is known about Riley's background or personal history prior to the events of Shadow Conflict. She is first encountered by Ryan Drake during his escape from a CIA Black Site in Eastern Europe, where she poses as a civilian whose car Drake hijacks. Over the next couple of days, she reveals that she works as an exotic dancer to pay her way through college, and she and Drake strike up a tentative friendship. She is described as being in her early twenties, petite and attractive.

However, in reality she is an undercover agent assigned to earn Drake's trust so she can glean vital information from him. Drake however unmasks her for what she is, and attempts to interrogate her as to the whereabouts of his missing team members. A short physical confrontation ensues, ending with Riley knocked unconscious, though not without seriously injuring Drake. She later confronts him when he's been recaptured, taking considerable pleasure in tormenting both him and Keira Frost.

Despite her small size and unthreatening appearance, Riley is formidable operative, able to act convincingly as an undercover agent and capable of holding her own in a fight against opponents larger and stronger than herself. She appears to have a high tolerance for pain, as evidenced when she slips a pair of handcuffs by breaking her own thumb, and is capable of using improvised weapons to defend herself. At one point she is able to kill a man with a single blow by collapsing his windpipe, allowing her to escape captivity.

Riley displays a cruel, sadistic personality and greatly relishes the prospect of torturing helpless victims, at one point attempting to cut out one of Frost's eyes with a gelding knife. She also looks up to Hawkins as a mentor, and possibly harbours romantic feelings towards him.