One of the principal recurring characters in The Winterbough Saga, and a significant character as well in The Ballad of Adler Young.

Gawain, a skunk, is the only child and heir of King Adler the Prudent. At the time of The Thin Line, Gawain has grown to adulthood, and can be seen as advising his father the King. In the course of the story, he narrowly evades being assassinated, thanks to an intervention by Lt. Sir Jasper Chitterleigh and Westersloe Winterbough V.

That action notwithstanding, Prince Gawain soon develops first a dislike for, and then a hatred for, Winterbough. In some measure, this may be tied to the fact that Winterbough (along with others) had to rescue Gawain from an ill-advised venture into the Blaec-Graf, where he is captured by an ambitious noble. (See the story "The Awkward Squad.")


King Gawain on the Winter Throne in Persoc Tor.

At the time of the later events of The Ballad of Adler Young, Gawain had succeeded to the throne, and had married Queen Persephone, who vanished under peculiar circumstances, but not before giving birth to Prince (later King) Estmere. Unlike his father, King Gawain did approve of the Ferifax Arch, a sinister project promoted by Sir Evan Klive that was allegedly intended to improve the vitality of Elf-kind, but in fact had dire consequences for the race as a whole.

After the vanishing of his mate, King Gawain fell into a depression, and in the course of his grief, had an affair with Mavis MacFogg, a mephitess servant in the Royal Palace. The result was that Gawain fathered a bastard, Adler Gawainsson, who was later legitimated by King Estmere. Adler Gawainsson would later go on to have a significant role in the events involving the collapse of the Mephitist Empire.

Gawain, as revealed in The Ballad of Adler Young, died as a result of a slow-acting poison, administered by a fur or furs unknown, though there were a number of suspects.