Dr. Edwin Eliot Nodd (Ned) is a professor of archeology who, besides teaching at university, has done substantial field work around the world. His interests tend to gravitate to the day-to-day behaviors of ancient cultures rather than on the grand elite structures that traditionally identify them. He is now retired from teaching but continues to write (when he’s not chasing his grandchildren). He dotes on Sam but that is only because Bass seems so much closer to the students he has trained in his career. He is hard of hearing and myopic as well as overweight, but insists “he’s working on that one”.
Annabelle (Cleburne) Nodd (Nellie) is wife to Ned and grandmother of Sam and Bass. Nell is typically busy and always pursuing multiple projects at once. For this reason she tends not to complete any of them. She comes from a military family where she learned to camp and shoot and is very comfortable in physically dangerous situations. She is fiercely protective of her grandchildren and tends to dote on Bass for his apparent awkwardness. She has accompanied Ned on most of his explorations and often anticipates Ned’s needs even when he doesn’t want her help. Nell is also a bit absent-minded and often misplaces her keys and glasses.
Samantha Nodd (Sam) is a physically maturing thirteen-year-old who is struggling with her own physical and emotional changes while trying keep her dysfunctional family together. This has been difficult since her twin brother, Bass, like her academic parents, are often in a world of their own. Sam is athletic, taller than her brother, and more overtly aggressive by nature. Even so, while Bass seems to have an innate sense of direction, she tends to get lost when on her own. When a course of action is not clear, she readily subordinates to her brother's judgement. That being said, it's usually her (if anyone) who pulls their fat from the fire in an emergency.
Sebastian Nodd (Bass) is Sam’s twin brother but there, the similarity ends. Bass is shorter, stockier and much less physical than his sister. He’s also a bit embarrassed by his lack of social graces. By his nature, he studies the dynamics of a situation clinically and objectively often failing to recognize his own role in these dynamics. He’s an astute observer and blunt in his assessments of people and situations. To make up for his awkwardness he carries a huge collection of “equipment” with him wherever he goes, in an over-stuffed pair of cargo shorts. Bass is averse to things physical and not very good at them. Sam likes to rub that in his face whenever she can.