The Man Who Would Save Us All (generally just known as the Man, the young Man, or sometimes by his boy-name: the Skittery Scrounger): Our Hero, the hero with only one face who must find a way to stop the genocidal war between the Cutaneous Nations of the Belly (the "good" guys) and the haemophagic/carnivorous Encarnadine Empire (the "bad" guys) before it leads to the very death of the World. Found as an infant in the sweaty, swampy depths of Vagina Springs--one of the seemingly miraculous, motherless children who appear in the swamp periodically and are thought by the tick-farming peasants of the southern Belly to be sons and daughters of the Mother herself, the Man is raised to be something of a prince among lowly tick- and flea-farmers, but his court-appointed teacher, A Certain Person (kind of like Gandalf crossed with Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise), secretly teaches him that his future role, observed in prophecies the old fart had learned while in seminary school, is to save the World. When the Man's village gets caught between the armies of the Cutaneous Nation and the mutated "zerg rush" armies of the Encarnadine, only the Man makes it out alive by fleeing into the vast hills known as the Breasts, where eventually he meets his necessary Companions. And they are (in no particular order):
Nenetesc the Spike-Tongued: a former Encarnadine lord ousted by his house and ostracized because he supported the very unpopular doctrine that too much blood-farming and consuming of the world's skin leads to the horrific Necroses and Oncoblasts that have been threatening the Encarnadine cities. Like most Encarnadine nobles, Nenetesc has undergone a substantial amount of fleshwizardry (a pseudomagical form of bioengineering): his teeth are now gone and his tongue has been reshaped into a telescoping, hypodermic-sharp proboscis for penetrating the skin of the World and sucking up blood. Yes, he is an Anophele, for those of you familiar with China Mieville's The Scar: I ripped the character off completely from that novel. But remember, folks, that good authors steal blatantly! Nenetesc does not see any reason why Encarnadine and Cutaneous Nations can't live together in peace (they can't, ultimately, because the Cutaneous Nations are all religious zealots who cannot envision any worldview beyond their own, and the Encarnadine are too driven by population pressures and botched foreign policy to turn back), but he's driven by a psychotic rage for vengeance against those who stole his title.
Monerrek and Dennica: a pair of itinerant fleshwizards who roam the countryside performing various gene-splicing arts for paying customers. Monerrek is the mathematician/technician, and Dennica is her "husband"/theoretician. Really, they're not two separate people but one person who, rightfully, exist joined at the back (a little nod to early Greek mythology and Hedwig and the Angry Inch here. Their kind are particularly rare and often hated throughout the World, though joined they have abilities above and beyond any "normal" human, whether Cutaneous or Encarnadine. Their kind may have been responsible for calling down the chunk of Metal from the heavens that created the Scar, hence their species' rather dim reputation. Also, when joined together, their inate powers are naturally doubled, but so is their voracious appetite for meat. Human meat.
Zaticheyn a'Yeyeyo: a fallen tegotedabsolver (one of the Cutaneous Nations' religious police) on the run from an official AEdict of Death for "war crimes"--that is, she refused to sign off on the execution of an entire Encarnadine noncombatant village captured by the Cutaneous Army. The Man's pseudo-love-interest. I haven't given her anymore thought, but she'll certainly have some kind of major function in the narrative to come. I mean, you can't tell the tale of a Hero without giving him a Princess of some sort to fight for, right?!
It's pretty obvious, but the Cutaneous Nation with all their goofy religious police, dietary restrictions, and fanatical worship of the Sun, are modelled after the Muslim World...and they probably won't fare too well in the story itself. I am most definitely not unbiased here, and nothing disgusts me more than overzealous religion and theocratic organizations. However, the Encarnadine Empire, though ostensibly dedicated to freedom of religion and freedom, is not lily-white, either: they are absurd resource hogs, smug to the point of idiocy, and overzealous in their own dedication to ideals of "freedom" for all...even though their society is hidebound with insane power games, Machiavellian political intrigues, and is in fact an oligarchy completely unconcerned with the fact that they are slowly murdering the World they live on. Guess who they are based on? As much as I hate religious maniacs, I hate hypocritical "democracies" that much more.
I've now plotted out the basic storyline, too, and involved a number of Tolkein-/Dragonlance-esque adventures on the way to the big prize--attempting to wake the buried Brain of the Mother Goddess and tell her what the hell is happening on her surface. There's definitely going to be a horrific, Lovecraftian encounter in an abandoned Bone Mine, where shoggoth-like White Surgeons (the World's equivalent of white blood cells/platelets) are repairing the wound in the World...a valley drowning in blood after their attempt to sink a new blood-well missed the vein they were aiming for and hit an artery instead...an encounter with wild Necroses (zombie-like animate mounds of rotting World-flesh) and disgusting Oncoblasts (skin cancers that can disguise themselves--badly--as humans)...a tick and flea stampede...sweating hills...a gigantic suppurating wound (the Scar) infected with mutants who may very well be arming themselves to take on both Encarnadine and Cutaneous Nations in order to spread their leperotic disease...neuromancers sending deleterious dreams at enemy camps via the nerve bundles buried in the skin of the World...and probably a meeting with the mythical Black Sun (the "devil") himself.
You want New Weird. I got New Weird. I'm aiming to outweird China Mieville, Steph Swainston, and William Hope Hodgson with this bitch.