The three brothers live in The Old Vicarage, a rambling house in a village, low within a valley enclosed by hills. In the hills lives Griselda the Grunch, a witch who longs to eat them: “Oh, roast Julius! Stewed Alexander! Benjamin on toast! Just what I always wanted.”
Griselda the Grunch is a witch who lives in a ruined tower in the hills above the village of Shoreham in the County of Kent. She longs to munch the tender flesh of little boys and girls and contented crunch their slender bones, but most of all she wants to eat the three brothers who live in The Old Vicarage.
Snuggle is a warrior cat and dream lord sent to protect the boys. When he became a legend (Snuggle the Mighty, Snuggle the All-Powerful) many said that he was descended from the gods, that in Ancient Egypt men and women had bowed down and worshipped his ancestors.
Boris is the witch Griselda’s pet skull. According to Griselda the basic problem with Boris is that he is not evil enough. He is strangely fond of her but she gives him a very hard time, sending thunderbolts which echo in his bony head and kicking him out of the window.
Scrooey-Looey is a glove puppet who lives on the top shelf in the nursery at The Old Vicarage. The boys are surprised when in the Land of Desire the rabbit walks towards them through icing and calls Alexander an idiot, lunatic, a cretinous lump of lard (for in the Land of Nothingness Alex had wished for a jungle birthday cake not with very happy results).
The Dim Daft Dwarves
Griselda’s guards are three dim daft disgusting dwarves. Julioso who picks his nose, Aliano who makes rude sounds and Benjio who spits in a repulsive fashion. They are completely thick. Whenever they try to do anything they always get it wrong (unless Boris helps them).
ERIC & DRAGO
Eric and his son Drago are friendly dragons, but Drago has the dreadful habit of spitting. As Eric told Benjamin when first he met him, “Drago’s in disgrace for spitting. There are few habits in a dragon worse than spitting. On Christmas Day Drago spat and all our decorations went up in flame. Then last week he spat and burnt a hole in the best tablecloth. Drago is forever breathing fire in the wrong place.”
The BOYS’ FATHER
Meet the boys' father, a fan of rock and roll who is definitely not afraid to bust a move on the dancefloor.
Did you know, the character of the boys' father is based on the author himself! Find out more about Frank Hinks here.
In Ramion plants grow wild and free and trees reach out to distant views of blossom or drifts of snowdrops or daffodils or roses depending on the time of year. The Garden is tended by the Gardener with his faithful servant the Guide, a little man in uniform. The Gardener is guardian, protector, creator of dreams.
VICOMTE AND VICOMTESSE DE GRUNCH
The Vicomte and Vicomtesse de Grunch had been guillotined in the French Revolution. But to the horror of the watching peasants their headless bodies had risen up, picked their heads out of the baskets and walked away. The Vicomte had his head bolted back on with a great metal bolt and his wife had her head stitched back on and wore a black ribbon round her neck to disguise the scar.
The Princess of the Night
The Princess of the Night is the Lord of Nothingness, the source of evil. She lives in a volcano not far from the Garden from which she plots the destruction of the Garden and the Gardener and the conquest of all the peoples of Ramion. She has a living art collection of boys and girls turned to stone. She hates jokes and laughter and longs for a universe devoid of dreams and love.
THE DUCKY ROCKY
In the middle of the Forest is a deep, black pond where the Ducky Rocky lives. He tries to tell strangers to the Forest how to defeat the monsters, but sometimes before he can speak he sinks to the bottom of the pond exhausted.
The LION OF ICING
In the Land of Nothingness Alex foolishly wished for a jungle birthday cake and the boys fell into the Land of Desire and found themselves trudging through deep thick icing. Amongst the jungle animals was the Lion of Icing who after an initial misunderstanding became a friend to the boys. The Lion of Icing melts in the rain, but in sunshine springs to life again.
Cloud 9 is a rebel and source of mischief, always breaking the rules, soaking trees (and people) when he should not.
Although not bad at heart sometimes Cloud 9’s sense of mischief gets out of hand and he does things which even he realises (in the end) are really really stupid.
ALBEE THE ALBATROSS
A harbinger of doom, with hard beady eyes Albee the Albatross is the spy of the Princess of the Night.
THE BLIZZARD WIZARD
The Blizzard Wizard, with his long lanky limbs and evil leer, is feared throughout the Land of Ramion. Parents whisper to their children if they misbehave, “Be good or else the Blizzard Wizard will come and get you!”
THE GNARLED OLD MAN
The Lord of the Forest is the Gnarled Old Man. He likes to turn those who enter the Forest into monsters or ghostly globs or piles of dust or whatever else takes his fancy. When the Precious Plants reverse his evil magic and turn him into a Zany Zombie he is not happy.
Mystic Mummies are the most evil mummies that have ever lived. A single touch from their arms will turn a boy or girl (or rabbit) into a pile of dust. The one thing Mystic Mummies (like other mummies) cannot stand is boys or girls who pick their noses.
When the boys are in trouble in the Forest the Racing Racoons come to the rescue. They should have been Rancid Racoons but the spell went wrong. They ride their motor bikes through the Forest, revving the engines hard, speeding between the trees (which bend down to get them but are too slow).
Servant of the Gardener the Guide is a little man in uniform.
When Julius and Alex are lost in the hills above the Garden where the mind controls (it even controls the weather) he leads them to the Gardener.
Globerous Ghosts are the fattest, ooziest ghosts that have ever lived. A single touch from their arms will turn a boy or girl (or rabbit) into a ghostly glob. The one thing Globerous Ghosts cannot stand is boys or girls who stick their tongues out.
Venomous Vampires wear full evening dress with white bow-ties and long-tailed coats, and speak in snooty voices. One bite from their fangs will drain the blood out of the body of a boy or girl or rabbit. The one thing they cannot stand is muddy hands.
Scary Scots march through the Forest dressed in kilts and playing bagpipes. Globerous Ghosts are bad, Mystic Mummies very bad, Venomous Vampires very, very bad, but Scary Scots with bagpipes are even worse. Five minutes of that sound and a boy or girl or rabbit will explode!
Bilious Butterflies have huge sickly pink wings. They pick up passing travellers in the Forest and drop them at the feet of the Gnarled old Man who turns them into Globerous Ghosts, Mystic Mummies, Venomous Vampires, Scary Scots or whatever else takes his fancy.