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Beka Cooper
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Mage Name
Nickname Beka
Born 230 HE
Nationality Tortallan
Magic Air Gift
Specialization Dust Spinners
Physical Description
Gender Female
Height 5' 8"
Hair Dark blond
Eyes Blue-grey (icy and ghost-like)
Family Information
Family Cooper family
Grandparents Fern Cooper
Parents Ilony Cooper
Adoptive Parents
Siblings Diona Cooper
Lorine Cooper
Willes Cooper
Nilo Cooper
Husband Farmer Cape
Lover Dale Rowan (former)
Holborn Shaftstall(betrothed)
Adoptive Children
Descendants Cooper family (the 400s HE)
Trebond family (second creation of title)
Other Family Philben Cooper (cousin)
Lilac (cousin)
Animals Achoo (scent-hound)
Patron God Black God
Rank Commoner
Residence Nipcopper Close
Provost's House
Mutt Piddle Lane (former)
Affiliation Gershom of Haryse
Ersken Westover
Rosto the Piper
Koramin Ingensra
Aniki Forfrysning
Phelan Rapp
Provost's Guard
Junior Guardswoman
Guard District Lower City
Guardhouse Jane Street
Guard Watch Evening
Instructor Kebibi Ahuda
Training Partners Mattes Tunstall
Clary Goodwin
Previous Partner Silsbee
Three Unnamed
Current Partner Mattes Tunstall
Trainee Partner
Guard Badge
Events Kidnap of Prince Gareth
Counterfeiting Capture
Opal Murders
Shadow Snake Capture
Bread Riot
Bold Brass Capture
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Terrier
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Mastiff
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '
"Rebakah Cooper. Your six-times-great-grandmother. Famed in her day for her service as a Provost's Guard. She was fierce and law-abiding and loyal, my son. [...] And she was doom on lawbreakers, particularly thieves. Steal, and you shame her."
—Eleni Cooper to her six-year old son George[src]

Rebakah Cooper (pronounced REH-bah-kah COO-puhr), nicknamed Beka, was a Tortallan commoner of the 3rd century HE. She was a member of the Provost's Guard, the country's law enforcement. Beka is the ancestress of George Cooper, his children and grandchildren; Eleni Cooper; and Rispah Cooper and her children. She became famed throughout the land of Tortall for her work in law enforcement, especially when she helped stop the rebel conspiracy and save Gareth of Conté in 249 HE. She is also one of the main reasons why King Roger III outlawed slavery in Tortall, as Prince Gareth knew that she would want it as her reward for his rescue.


Early life

Birth and early years

Rebakah was born in 230 HE as the oldest daughter of Ilony Cooper, although her father bet a copper noble piece that she would be a boy[1]. The family lived in the poorest part of Corus, called the Cesspool in the Lower City, where Ilony worked as an herbalist. Ilony had what is called "lung rot", which eventually killed her. On Mutt Piddle Lane, the street they lived on, Beka was friends with Tansy, a girl in the neighborhood. Deirdry Noll sometimes gave them leftovers from her bakery. Her father was married to Ilony, and Beka inherited her Air Gift from him.

Hobbling the Bold Brass gang

"When you led my Lord Provost to the Bold Brass gang, you may have been only eight, but you knew to track a man [...]."
—Tunstall to Beka after he witnessed her communing with the dust spinners[src]

In 238 HE Ilony's lover found out that she was terminally ill. He beat her up and robbed her, thus making Beka furious. She followed the man and discovered that he was a member of the Bold Brass gang, which had been terrorizing the wealthy districts of Corus for a year by then. Beka went to the nearest kennel (guard station) to report what she had found out, but none of the guards believed her. That's when Rebakah first met Lord Gershom, the current Lord Provost. She stepped in front of his horse, when he was riding in the Lower City and told him she can give him the Bold Brass gang. The Lord Provost believed her and thus caught the criminals, which saved his reputation[2].

New home

Afterwards Lord Gershom followed Beka home and invited her and her family to live at his household in Corus. They accepted and Beka and Lord Gershom got along quite well, as Beka showed vivid interest in the Dog work, which pleased the Lord even more because none of his own children were that enthusiastic about it. That's also the reason why his wife, Lady Teodorie, doesn't approve of Beka. She doesn't like the girl being that interested in the work of the Provost's Guard because she herself disapproves of it, because she is of the opinion that it's unfit for Beka, and because Beka makes Lord Gershom like being "a common dog too much".

When Beka was ten years old her mother took her to Fern Cooper, Beka's paternal grandmother, because Beka told her mother that the pigeons were talking to her and Ilony feared that her daughter might be mad. Fern told her that it's not madness at all, but that Beka has the Air Gift, which she inherited from her father.[3]

Four years later Ilony Cooper dies.[4] Lord Gershom and his wife provide for the children and make sure all of them get proper education. When Beka is fourteen—probably not too long after her mother's death—she encounters Nestor Haryse, Lord Gershom's cousin who lives in Port Caynn. At that time she has a crush on him. Not only because he is handsome but also because he is a Dog and encourages her in her wish to become one, too.[5] Beka pursues the future of being a Provost's Guard, although Lady Teodorie still disapproves of it. Before entering official training as a guard, Beka trains with Lord Gershom for eight years and works as a message runner for the Provost's Guard for three of those years.

Lord Gershom gives Beka a set of maps for her fifteenth birthday, because he noticed that she admired his maps. She later makes use of this present to keep track of the different victims of the Shadow Snake.[6] While living at the Lord Provost's, Beka makes an acquaintance which shall prove to be important in her later life: In 242 HE, she finds a little kitten in the stable, a black kitten with purple eyes. She names him Pounce and Beka later discovers that this is no ordinary cat. Only one of the miracles surrounding Pounce being that he can actually talk.

Trainee guardswoman

Ahuda: "Great Mithros bless us, you actually caught her."
Beka: "Sh-she hit a Dog with a blade."
Tunstall: "And I didn't even have to say 'fetch'."
Ahuda: "Here we were thinking you were naught but a Fishpuppy, and you turn out to be one stubborn little terrier."
— Ahuda, Tunstall and Beka when she brings Orva Ashmiller in.[src]

When Beka is 15 years old she begins official training in the Provost's Guard. She has to go through a year of school before she is allowed to street duty as a Puppy.[7] Her classes include learning about interrogation, the usual work of cage Dogs, for which she is also treated with a mild form of the Drink, making her nearly quit before she learns that nobody is forced to question people and that one had to volunteer for being a cage Dog.[8] She lives in the Puppy training barracks for this year.[9]

Afterwards she doesn't return to live at Provost's House but rents two rooms,[10] belonging to Mistress Trout in the Lower City, on Nipcopper Close[11]. This makes it easier for her, as her way to and from watch is shorter. She has been living in these lodgings since the beginning of March 246 HE. Beka's rooms are small, but it is enough for her and Pounce, although it gets a bit crowded later on when she not only houses the three Ashmiller children and Jack Ashmiller but also Tansy and Herun Lofts for a short while.

"I have two rules for you, Puppy. Look me in the face when I'm talking to you, Puppy Cooper. Two rules. Speak when you're spoken to. And keep out of my way. All right? Time to start the babysitting detail."
—Clara Goodwin after Beka got assigned as her Puppy.[src]

On April 1 in 246 HE Beka begins her year as a trainee Guard, a so-called "Puppy". Together with her partners Clara Goodwin and Matthias Tunstall she covers Evening Watch.

Her first two months as a Trainee begin quite eventful, although her high spirits on her first day of duty get doused quickly when she gives chase to a cut-purse and misses his lookout. He trips her and Beka lands in a heap of fish guts, which gets her the nickname "fishpuppy".[12] She does better when she has to chase a woman who has been violent against her family and even struck Goodwin, when they tried to arrest her. Beka catches the woman, Orva Ashmiller, after chasing her through the whole of the Lower City.[13] When she brings Orva to Jane Street kennel it is Sergeant Ahuda who first nicknames her "terrier".[14] But as she is alone in following Orva she has to report on capturing her the following week before the Magistrate's Court, which proves to be quite an ordeal for her. The shy Beka doesn't get a full sentence out and when she visits her brothers and sisters at Lord Gershom's the following day, Lady Teodorie tells her that she brought shame to all of them. As a matter of fact, the relationship to her younger siblings, especially her sisters, is rather cool that day and although her brothers are really glad to see Beka she decides not to go to see them the following weeks.

She is quite busy in the weeks to come with two big cases and the desperate need to solve them both. On the one hand there is the mysterious Shadow Snake, a legend which became alive. The Snake takes children and demands ransom from their parents. If they don't pay up, the children are found dead or remain missing. Beka hears of this as Tansy's - a childhood friend of Beka - son, Rolond Lofts, was killed by the Snake. Tansy also points other victims of the Snake out to her. Beka enlists her friends to help her searching for and speaking to the victims of the Snake. She learns that there have been more than twenty known cases reaching back for three years. She also finds out that neither the Rogue, Kayfer Deerborn, nor the Dogs have done anything about it. Thus she is determined to find the Snake and bring him down. She even creates maps to keep track of the child-stealings. In the beginning Beka does all her investigations concerning the Shadow Snake on her own only helped by her friends. Later she also tells her Dogs about it because she doesn't want them to think that she is working behind their backs.

Her second big case is brought to her by the ghosts riding the pigeons. There are nine ghosts who were killed all at once and buried where they were killed. Beka discovers that these nine dead had been hired by Crookshank to dig for valuable gems, so-called fire opals. When there weren't any more opals to be found in the cellar where they had been digging, Crookshank had them killed. Beka gets even more desperate to solve this case when she finds out that a second crew of diggers has been murdered a few weeks later. Together with her partners she saves a third crew of diggers and finds the Shadow Snake.

In this first two months of duty she is already awarded the nickname "Terrier", because she won't let go of an investigation once she takes an interest in one. At the end of her year as a trainee Beka had the highest healer's bill of any Puppy in Corus because Pounce repeatedly got her in trouble by yelling "this way" to help her.[15]

In the summer of this year Beka's friend Tansy gives birth to her second child, Joy Lofts, and Beka becomes her godsmother.


Sailor: "That's the one I was tellin' yez about. The Bloodhound."
Beka: "Don't talk. Not until you know what you say."
— On Beka's return to Corus refering to her bringing down Pearl Skinner.[src]

In April 247 HE Beka becomes a full-fledged Dog. Some time in May she seems to have witnessed a man running into a building in the Cesspool and setting fire to it, resulting to the deaths of several people and her unable to help them. This still haunts Beka in the form of nightmares four months later.[16] Between autumn of 246 HE and September 247 HE she has been bitten by rats twice, which always cost her the money to pay a healer to cleanse the bites.[17]

Early partners

Beka has no easy start as a Dog because she has no luck with her partners. The first dies in the summer of an epidemic, the red flux. Beka arrests her second partner because he took a bribe to ignore murder. Beka's third partner can't let his hands off her and so she tells him she would "lop his hands off if he put them on [her] again". He believes her and apparently requests another partner. So Beka is with her fourth partner by September of 247 HE. Her latest partner, Silsbee, thinks of her as being too eager for him and he, too, requests another partner and is subsequently transferred.[18] In between partners Sergeant Ahuda pairs her up with Goodwin and Tunstall again. Although she doesn't like the fact that it seems as though she can't work with any partner properly and wants a good partner of her own, she also enjoys working with her former training partners again. When working with them, she is doing some real work and they get big cases solved.

As Rebakah doesn't take well to people maltreating animals she even tells a senior guard to stop beating the scent-hound Achoo. After a dispute he gives her the hound although this hasn't been Beka's intention. Thus she gets herself "promoted" to a scent-hound handler, because she is allowed to keep Achoo.

First news of false coin

Shortly after Silsbee gets transferred Beka learns from her friend Tansy that false coin begins to be a problem as more and more "coles" (false silver coins) get passed along. Beka and her partners begin to look into the matter and discover that there are way too many coles being passed along, which will eventually lead to rising prices. The situation escalates in a riot caused by raised prices for bread which occurs on Beka's watch. Although she has already been at the edge of riots several times before this is the first time she is in the heart of one[19]. There she meets Dale Rowan and later also Hanse Remy, who are from Port Caynn. As their partner Tunstall gets severely injured in the Bread Riot, she and Goodwin are alone on their watch for the following time.

The Pell brother's ambush

"Cooper has nothing to excuse her. She made a habit out of leaving her lodgings every day through her front door. Plainly these men, just as any Dog's enemies, learned it, and they nearly killed her yesterday."
—Goodwin to Pounce after the ambush[src]

Beka herself sustains severe injuries the second day after the riot. She was on her way to the Magistrate's Court when she was ambushed just outside of her lodgings by Madon and Geraint Pell, the brothers of Kevan Pell, who had been arrested by Beka two weeks earlier.[20] They had been able to surprise Beka because she hadn't been on her guard, not suspecting an attack outside of her home with powerful friends like Pounce and Rosto. She had also developed a habit of leaving her home through the front door instead of using different exits from time to time. Her injuries were treated by Master Sholto. Goodwin told her off for being so careless once Beka woke up. Fortunately Beka recovers quickly as she and Goodwin are sent to Port Caynn for further investigations concerning the false coins.

Investigation in Port Caynn

Beka: "You don't think I'll fall on my bum, then? Even if I did let the Pells get the jump on me this once?"
Goodwin: "Cooper, if I'd thought that, I would have suggested Jewel trade partners with me for this hunt. Now listen, and practice your tale. After the Pell brothers cracked your poor head, Lord Gershom decided to send you away until the rest of the family rushers are taken and questioned."
— Beka and Goodwin on their coming mission in Port Caynn[src]

In Port Caynn Beka and Goodwin meet previous acquaintances again like Dale Rowan, Hanse Remy and Steen Bolter, all of whom they know from the Bread Riot. They make also friends with Nestor Haryse and his lover Okha Soyan. But they also make some unliked acquaintance in the Deputy Provost for the city, Sir Lionel of Trebond, and the Rogue of Port Caynn, Pearl Skinner.

Beka doesn't particularly like the part she has to play in their masquerade, namely that of a loose Dog. Still, she gets along with it and already likes Dale more than she perhaps should. Their relationship gets physical in the end, although it doesn't last.

After a few days' worth of investigations Beka and Goodwin think they have enough to get help from Corus. Thus Goodwin leaves to report to Lord Gershom and leaves Beka alone in Port Caynn. When Beka gets word of Goodwins friend Isanz Finer and his family being arrested, she feels under the obligation to help him and goes to the Deputy Provost in the hope that he might listen to her, see the mistake and release the Finers. However, he does not listen and Beka's temper gets away with her. She insults the knight and he has her arrested. Beka only barely escapes and flees to the Court of the Rogue until Pearl Skinner learns that Beka told Sir Lionel about her suspicions that the Rogue was responsible for the false coins. Thus, Beka has to flee both the Provost's Guard and the members of the Court of the Rogue. Pearl had set a price of five gold nobles for those capturing Beka and Achoo, alive and unharmed[21].

She finds refuge with Okha Soyan in her dressing room at the Waterlily, where she performs. She also tells Nestor about Pearls being responsible for the false coins and together with other trustworthy Dogs of Port Caynn they raid the Rogue's Court and get the needed evidence.

A few days later Goodwin arrives with help from Corus. Together with her faithful scent-hound Achoo and Goodwin, who has to search for Beka as she set off on her own, she tracks down Pearl Skinner herself and makes sure she is presented to a proper court for her wrong-doings. In the fight with Pearl Beka gets badly injured and needs some days to recover. Her going-off-on-her-own earns her a telling-off from Goodwin and on their return from Tunstall, too. As one of the main people involved in bringing the counterfeiters down Beka gets a King's Award[22].

On their voyage home Goodwin announces that she will retire to a desk job, which will make Beka partners with Tunstall.

Three Rivers Hunt

In 249 HE, mages and nobles start a conspiracy to overthrow Roger III of Conté and replace him with his brother, Prince Baird. They attack the Summer Palace, kidnap Roger's four-year-old son Gareth, and escape with a slave caravan. Beka, Achoo, Tunstall, Sabine, and Farmer Cape are set to tracking down the kidnapped prince. They eventually succeed in rescuing the prince, and the conspiracy is thwarted.

Though Beka asks for no reward for herself for succeeding in the Hunt, the king asks her and Prince Gareth to serve as official witnesses for his proclamation of the end of slavery in Tortall.

During the Hunt, Beka had fallen in love with Farmer. The two were married on All Hallows of that year, and Farmer took the name Cooper.

Physical description

"Everyone else says that my gaze makes folk nervous. They tell me it's like being touched with ice."
—written by Beka in her journal[src]

Beka is five feet eight inches (5'8") tall, muscular, and slender. She has light blue-grey eyes that are unsettling when she glares. Mostly people dislike her eyes and Dale Rowan once even described them as "ghost-eyes"[23]. However, Hansevor Remy once compared her eyes to moonstones[24]. She has dark blond hair which she tight-braids from the crown of her head and braids a spiked strap into so as to surprise opponents who try to grab her hair in a fight.[25] Beka's hands are callused from regular baton work[26] and also show several scars from knife-wounds.[22]

Beka -DollDivine.jpg

Normally she wears breeches and a tunic, even in daytime when she isn't on watch. On duty, in the Magistrate's Court and on other official events she wears her uniform, which consists of a black tunic with breeches and boots of the same color. In her year as a Puppy a white trim is sewn to the hems to show her status as a trainee. Seldom Beka wears a dress like when she visits her brothers and sisters at Provost's house or when she plays the role of a loose Dog on the investigation concerning the false coins. At that occasion she was described by several men as being pretty, but didn't like it very much because she had the impression that people who call her pretty don't think that she can do good work as a Dog[27].

But even when she wears a dress in Port Caynn Beka doesn't go unarmed, as she carries daggers hidden in her sleeves[28], at her back and on her legs[29] with her.

Personality and traits

Rosto: "Hel-lo! It has a bark and a bite! Here I was thinking you're a mousy little bit. But you're not mousy, are you?"
Aniki: "Rosto, you take shy as fearful. Why would a coward become a Dog? There's easier ways for a pretty gixie to make a living. [...] She's shy, cabbage head, not stupid"
— Rosto and Aniki about Beka when first meeting her at the Court of the Rogue[src]

Beka describes herself as being very shy and she even fears that this might get in the way when she is on duty.[30] It is true that her shyness causes her some trouble, especially when she has to speak in front of many people and even more so when these people are nobles or higher in rank than herself. This being the case when she has to present cases to the Magistrate's Court, Beka doesn't particularly like Court Days.

But Beka is also quite able to forget about her shyness when she is doing her work. When she is in uniform and chases criminals she has no problems with arresting them, even when she is still a Puppy and thus not strictly allowed to arrest someone on her own, like in the case of Orva Ashmiller. She also disagrees with Ercole Hempstead, a senior guardsman, on his treatment of Achoo, proving that her care for maltreated animals—or humans—is greater than her shyness[31].

In spite of her shyness Beka likes festivals and dances on the Common. Indeed dancing is the social acitivity she prefers to all others, because she doesn't have to talk while doing it. Beka couldn't imagine a life outside of Corus, without markets and all other things going on in such a big city[32].

"The Lower City is mine. Its people are mine -- its children are mine. If I find them that's doing all this kidnapping and murdering, they'd best pray for mercy. Because once I get my teeth in 'em, I will never let them go."
—Rebakah Cooper, written in her journal[src]

Rebakah is particularly law-abiding, although her friendship with Rosto, Aniki and Kora proves sometimes to be troubling in this aspect as her duty if she knew of any wrongdoings would be to arrest her friends. Beka is convinced however, that she would actually arrest them and is therefore glad that they don't present her with any evidence of their crimes. Beka has also more sympathy for the citizens of the Lower City than most Dogs as she has lived there for eight years herself and knows the hardships of it.

Beka always sees things in a matter-of-fact way and does only very rarely get too anxious or excited. This helps her to keep a cool head and see things more clearly. When she met Dale while investigating in Port Caynn on the matter of false coins she proved that she could even keep her mind on the work and still liking—or even being in love with—one of the suspects[33], never forgetting that he might be one of the people responsible for the false coin leaking into the moneystream. Her cool head also helps to balance other people out, who get more easily excited over small things and are thus unable to keep a cool head. The best example for such a person is Beka's childhood friend Tansy.[34]

Although Beka was formerly known to be sometimes "reckless when [...] just sniffing around", even Goodwin had to admit that she had not been so since she had to think for herself and her previous partners, who weren't at all good at their work.[35]

Beka has a particular liking for Mistress Noll's apple fritters[36]. Beka seems to like apples in general. Vivianos are her favorites[37]. She also likes to dance as this is one of the few sociable things Beka can do without having to talk to strangers[38]. She doesn't like horses however and isn't adept at riding[39].

Skills and abilities

Physical and mental skills

Because of her year of training for the work of a Provost's Guard and the combat training even after she actually began working, Beka is good at fighting, as she must be for her work. Her skills can be seen clearly in the fact that she can perform the relating moves without thinking about them, like shown when Dale surprised her once and she simply reacted without thinking, tossing him into the nearest wall. This also shows that this particular ability can be a negative aspect sometimes[40]. Beka is also good at throwing things, as seen in the fact that she "can hit a Rat at a hundred feet when [she] throw[s] a rock."[41]

She is also good at observing as Lord Gershom has remarked.[42] Furthermore Beka knows the Lower City of Corus by heart as she spent the first eight years of her live there and three more years as a message runner. Although she learned "proper language" while living at Lord Gershom's, she still speaks Lower City cant, all the same. She usually resorts to street cant when being in an emotional upheaval or when she is particularly tired[43]. Beka is quite inventive about her work, too. It was her who brought up the idea of using maps to find the Shadow Snake, although she saw it first at Lord Gershom's. At Lord Gershom's Beka not only learned how to read and write but also to keep accounts, at which she is, according to her own judgement, tolerably well[44]. Beka is also very good at guessing ages, she came in top on top during her Puppy class and top in all districts in Corus during her third year as a guardswomen.

Beka also knows how to pick locks. She had gotten the tools for it from Rosto in the summer of 247 HE and Aniki had taught her how to use them.[45]

However, Beka isn't a very good swimmer[46].

Magical abilities

"Explain the comedy with the pigeon and Mistress Tansy now. [...] Mistress Noll said it, that first night, it was magic in your father's line. Well and good. You have it. You speak to dust spinners, too."
—Clara Goodwin to Beka[src]

Beka possesses the ability to understand the spirits of the dead, who ride on pigeons. Through them, she learns of murders that have occurred recently and pieces together clues to them. Normally other people can't hear the pigeons, even when they touch Beka. The only known exception to that occurs when Tansy hears her dead son, Rolond.[47] She can also commune with dust spinners, which are like small dust storms that are stationary on some street corners. The dust spinners pick up sounds from events and conversations that occur near them and relay the information to Beka.[48] Beka inherited both forms of magic, which seem to be related to the air gift, from her father; it seems to be rather common in his family.



                                                   Fern Cooper ┬ unnamed man         
                                                         │                              │
                                     Ilony Cooper ┬ unnamed man                         ? ┬ ?
                                                  │                                       │
         ┌—————————————————————-——————————————————┴-———————————————-———————————————┐   Philben CooperDelene Cooper
         │                                       │               │               │                  │
       Rebakah CooperFarmer Cape    Diona Cooper      Lorine Cooper     Willes Cooper   Nilo Cooper          4 children
               6 generations
                 │                                                           │
Myles of OlauEleni Cooper ┬ unnamed man    Trebond                     unnamed
                             │                   │                           │
                  George CooperAlanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau   Rispah CooperCoram Smythesson
                                │                                                   │
                              Trebond ┌———————┬———————┬——————┬—————┬—————┬————┬—————┴┬—————┬—————┐
                                      │       │       │      │     │     │    │      │     │     │
                                   Jonthair Alinna Thomsen Mylec Daran Liam Thayine Rose Elenna Buran

Rebakah's mother, Ilony Cooper, died in 244 HE. Beka still misses her as they obviously had quite a good relationship.

Beka doesn't have a close relationship with her brothers and sisters anymore. Her sisters, especially Diona, are too close to Lady Teodorie to say anything against the will of the Lady. So they, too, disapprove of Beka's decision to become a Dog. She has a slightly better relationship with her brothers, Will and Nilo, who are glad to see Beka when she comes visiting.

Beka has also several cousins—especially on her father's side—of whom only two are named so far, Lilac and Philben Cooper. According to Pounce her family on her father's side didn't approve of her living at Provost's House or that she decided to become a Dog. That's why she doesn't have a very good relationship with them either.[49]


  • Fern Cooper - Beka's grandma through her father. Taught Beka how to handle dust spinners and the pigeon's passengers.
  • Diona Cooper - Beka's 15-year-old sister, studying to be a lady's maid
  • Lorine Cooper - Beka's 13-year-old sister, training to be a seamstress
  • Nilo Cooper - Beka's 10-year-old brother, training as a stableman
  • Philben "Phil" Cooper - Beka's cousin on her father's side, a carter; by 247 HE he is married to Delene and they have four children;[50]


Foster parents

"She must have guessed that would be the spell to put iron in my spine and bring my head high. I could walk bold for the man who had taken my family out of the Cesspool."
—Written by Beka in her journal refering to Goodwin telling her to stand straight as they represent the Lord Provost[src]

Beka has a very good relationship to Gershom of Haryse, who took her family in. She is thankful to him for that. They also have much in common like their sense of justice and the dedication in their work for the Provost's Guard. Lord Gershom was the first to teach her about being a Dog. Even though her foster father is the Lord Provost she doesn't appeal to him to gain any favours. She wants to be a good Dog on her own and make Lord Gershom proud of her.

"Your seeming meekness would serve you so much better as a maidservant than as an enforcer of the King's law. When you recover from your folly in your choice of livelihood, of course I will do my best for you. I promised your poor mother I would do my best for all of her children. You are dismissed."
—Lady Teodorie to Beka when she visits at Provost's House[src]

Her relationship to her foster mother, Teodorie of Haryse, isn't as good. Lady Teodorie disapproves of the Provost's Guard and that it puts her husband in danger. She disapproves even more of Beka joining up as it isn't a proper occupation for a young woman. It might even be that the lady is jealous of Beka because she and Lord Gershom share something of which Lady Teodorie understands little.

Romantic relationships

Beka has been with several men, although it doesn't seem as though there was a long-term relationship among them. She has known one of the men from Lord Gershom's house and she met the others on festivals.[52] She hadn't been courted in a serious way before she met Dale again in Port Caynn[53].

Rosto the Piper

Rosto: "I'll kiss them and make them better."
Beka: "Try and I'll bruise you. Then Aniki and Kora can kiss you better."
— Rosto and Beka referring to the bruises Beka got in a fight in the Barrel's Bottom.[src]

Beka feels very attracted towards Rosto the Piper in a physical way and because he makes her laugh. She fears however that any relationship that went closer than friendship wouldn't do them any good as they stand on different sides of the law.[54] Thus Rosto's numerous tries to win Beka for himself haven't been successful so far. He on the other hand seems to be very much interested in Beka and isn't in the least disheartened by her being a Dog. Although he shares his bed with other females, he doesn't give up on winning Beka. He even throws a fit when she is with Dale Rowan while investigating the false coins in Port Caynn.

Dale Rowan

Goodwin: "He's got a lot of charm. He might also be one of the Rats we seek."
Beka: "Do you believe I'm a fool, Goodwin?"
Goodwin: "No. Your life might be easier if you were. A fool for love is happier than a Dog with a heart that's all leather."
— Beka and Goodwin after they talked to Dale on the Green Mist[src]

Dale is quite the opposite of Beka, not concerning the law but in his character. He likes to gamble and it doesn't seem as though he would be able to make many commitments. Thus their relationship doesn't last long and ends when Beka has to return to Corus, when her work in Port Caynn is done. Still they had quite an intense relationship while it lasted. When Beka accompanies Dale gambling she is his 'luck'. Thus he presents her with valuable gifts like a silver bracelet with Sirajit opals[55]. Dale was also more romantic and flirtatious toward Beka than Rosto, feeding her with seafood when their group was eating at the Merman's Cave. Besides being full of flirtations their relationship also holds much sexual tension[53], which is already obvious only after a few days knowing each other and later leads to more than just kisses. Although she is very much attracked to Dale she also always knows of the possibility that he might be one of the people responsible for the counterfeiting of 247 HE and thus keeps a cool head[56], later even searching through his rooms for possible evidence against him.

Spoiler Alert: The following section contains spoilers about Mastiff.

Holborn Shaftstall

Holborn died immediately preceeding Mastiff. He was Beka's betrothed and a 5-year Dog on the Lower City Day Watch. He was always trying to prove he was a better Dog than Beka, which ended up getting him killed rushing headfirst into an ambush. Beka was very close to breaking off their relationship and betrothal before he died. According to Pounce, she never actually liked him, just "loved him for a time". Beka is filled with guilt throughout Mastiff for not grieving at his death, but he helps her realize what she wants in a man.

Farmer Cape

Farmer and Beka meet in the beginning of Mastiff and get to know each other well throughout the Hunt. Beka realizes that he is everything that Holborn was not and that she loves him. She proposes to him in the middle of a plot to get the kidnapped prince to safety. He readily agrees, and their engagement is rehashed after they are safe in Corus. He takes Beka's last name, explaining the plot hole of Beka being a female ancestor with the same last name as her descendant. He enjoys spoiling Beka with gifts, something that she secretly loves as well.

The section containing spoilers ends here.


Beka's friends include fellow Puppies and guards as well as members of the Court of the Rogue. In her first week on duty they begin the habit of meeting every morning for having breakfast to which everyone contributes something. The first members of this daily gathering are Rosto the Piper, Aniki Forfrysning, Koramin Ingensra, Ersken Westover, Verene and Phelan Rapp. Other also join later on such as Beka's childhood friend Tansy Lofts.

Beka and Ersken began their year as trainees together and have been friends ever since. He has an amiable, kind character and encourages Beka when she feels downhearted. Ersken also helps her with investigations concerning the Shadow Snake in April and May of 246 HE, even though these investigations are done when both of them are off duty.

It wasn't long after Aniki, Kora and Rosto moved into the same house as Beka that Beka and Aniki got friendly, although they don't stand on the same side of the law. Kora, too, befriended Beka not long after their arrival and took part in their daily breakfasts. Kora also helped Beka in her search for the Shadow Snake.

Beka's oldest friend seems to be Tansy Lofts, who she still knows from their childhood days in Mutt Piddle Lane. They used to play together there. After Tansy married Herun Lofts they didn't see much of each other because Tansy's new grandfather-in-law, Crookshank, doesn't approve of her meeting her old acquaintances. They only see each other again after Beka becomes a Puppy and starts looking into the case of the missing children, who have been taken by the Shadow Snake. Both women see each other more often then because Beka meets Tansy while doing her work and also visits her sometimes at home. Tansy also stays at Beka's for some days when her grandfather-in-law, Ammon Lofts (Crookshank) threatens to kill her and her unborn child. Later Tansy becomes an irregular part of the breakfast gatherings.

Beka's real-life model


  • Regarding her physical appearance Beka was based on Jodie Foster[57].
  • When finishing Bloodhound Tamora Pierce herself didn't know yet if Beka would be romantically involved with someone at the end of Mastiff or not, stating that there were "circumstances that could make it hard for Beka to feel as if she were in love with someone in Mastiff".[58]

Family Tree

                                                   Fern Cooper ┬ unnamed man         
                                                         │                              │
                                     Ilony Cooper ┬ unnamed man                         ? ┬ ?
                                                  │                                       │
         ┌—————————————————————-——————————————————┴-———————————————-———————————————┐   Philben CooperDelene Cooper
         │                                       │               │               │                  │
       Rebakah CooperFarmer Cape    Diona Cooper      Lorine Cooper     Willes Cooper   Nilo Cooper          4 children
               6 generations
                 │                                                           │
Myles of OlauEleni Cooper ┬ unnamed man    Trebond                     unnamed
                             │                   │                           │
                  George CooperAlanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau   Rispah CooperCoram Smythesson
                                │                                                   │
                              Trebond ┌———————┬———————┬——————┬—————┬—————┬————┬—————┴┬—————┬—————┐
                                      │       │       │      │     │     │    │      │     │     │
                                   Jonthair Alinna Thomsen Mylec Daran Liam Thayine Rose Elenna Buran


Notes and References

  1. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 91)
  2. Terrier, Prologue, Tunstall's Journal (p. 15 - 17)
  3. Terrier, Prologue, Ilony Cooper's Journal (p. 9)
  4. http://www.tamora-pierce.com/faq_timeline.html
  5. Bloodhound, September 12, 247 (p. 120)
  6. Terrier, April 9, 246 (p. 314)
  7. Terrier, Glossary, The Provost's Guard
  8. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 II (p. 334)
  9. Terrier, April 7, 246 (p. 239)
  10. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 80)
  11. Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 22)
  12. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 69/82)
  13. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 116 - 118)
  14. Terrier, April 2, 246 (p. 121)
  15. Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 38)
  16. Bloodhound, September 9, 247 (p. 72/73)
  17. Bloodhound, September 25, 247 I (p. 506)
  18. Bloodhound, September 7, 247 (p. 7/8)
  19. Bloodhound, September 9, 247 (p. 62)
  20. Bloodhound, September 11, 247 (p. 105)
  21. Bloodhound, September 24, 247 I (p. 456)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Bloodhound, September 23, 247 II (p. 519)
  23. Bloodhound, September 14, 247 (p. 169)
  24. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 310)
  25. Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 21/22)
  26. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 I (p. 263)
  27. Bloodhound, September 14, 247 (p. 167)
  28. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 307)
  29. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 308)
  30. Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 23)
  31. Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 40)
  32. Bloodhound, September 14, 247 (p. 172)
  33. Bloodhound, September 14, 247 (p. 171/172)
  34. Terrier, May 8, 246 (p. 437)
  35. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 II (p. 344)
  36. Terrier, April 1, 246 (p. 44)
  37. Bloodhound, September 12, 247 (p. 132)
  38. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 (p. 264)
  39. Bloodhound, September 24, 247 I (I, p. 452)
  40. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 305/306)
  41. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 II (p. 353)
  42. Terrier, April 2 (p. 89)
  43. Bloodhound, September 9, 247 (p. 68)
  44. Bloodhound, September 13, 247 (p. 156)
  45. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 II (p. 294)
  46. Bloodhound, September 25, 247 I (p. 510)
  47. Terrier, April 8, 246 (p. 283)
  48. Terrier, Prologue, Ilony Cooper's Journal (p. 9 - 11)
  49. Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 43)
  50. Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 44/45)
  51. Sheroes-Central, "Aly's Triplets"
  52. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 (p. 242)
  53. 53.0 53.1 Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 306)
  54. Terrier, April 5, 246 (p. 198)
  55. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 312)
  56. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 326)
  57. Tamora Pierce on Terrier (Video)
  58. Random Buzz; "Mastiff -love in the end?"; April 24, 2009

See Also