Louis Wu, human--old and bored with having lived too fully for too many years, seeking an adventure, and all too capable of handling it.
Nessus, puppeteer--a trembling coward from a species with an inbuilt survival pattern of nonviolence. This particular puppeteer, however, is insane.
Speaker-to-Animals, kzin--large, orange-furred, and carnivorous. The kzin are one of the most savage life-forms known.
The party’s expedition, however, goes disastrously wrong when their ship crash-lands and its motley crew faces a daunting trek across thousands of miles of Ringworld territory.