Gull is the oldest son in the family of Closti the Clam. He is tall for his age, and sturdy, and when the army comes through the village of Shelling on their way to fight the Heathen, Gull and Closti are both selected to join them.

Closti does not return, having died of his wounds on or near the battlefield, but Gull is brought back to the village by Old Kestrel, the neighbor who promised Closti to look after the boy. Gull is tremendously afflicted by his wartime experiences, and is not himself. His mind wanders, he falls silent or sleeps for long periods, and wakes with great anxiety about something no one else in the family can follow or understand. It's not until they all reach the mouth of the Great River that Gull's affliction begins to come clear to them, and by that time, the Undying have helped to protect him at least somewhat from his inner demons.

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