John Faa, more often referred to as Lord Faa, is the ruler of the western gyptians. His dæmon is a crow; her name is not mentioned.
He was described as a kind, loyal, honest man who is a fierce fighter and protective of his people. He seems to value honesty and straightforwardness, and enjoys fighting. He is introduced to us in Northern Lights, where he holds a Roping in the Fens about the issue of children being stolen from their parents (Gobblers) and plans a rescue. Despite the racism the gyptians are subjected to, he was determined to rescue all the children, and that causes mild unease among his people. Lord Faa offered a sanctuary to Lyra Belaqua, after two of his people (Ma Costa and Tony Costa) brought her to the Roping after rescuing her from thieves, but originally refuses her request to go to the North with them. He is a practical man, and is unsure around what he cannot understand with his own eyes. For example, when Lyra explains her plan to go to the village by the lake to rescue the lost boy, Lord Faa is skeptical, asking if she's certain the alethiometer isn't "playing the fool" with her. Lyra's response, that it couldn't, seemed to do little to soothe his doubts. He seems to mistrust Iorek Byrnison at the start, believing the bear was a mad rogue that had killed many people, but eventually warms up to him, though it is curious that when Iorek is talking to Will about the few non-bear people he respects, Lord Faa's name is not among them. (Iorek does mention that Lord Faa was a fierce fighter earlier on in the books)
Lord Faa holds council with the heads of all the gyptian families, and an ancient man named Farder Coram; who he seems to respect and trust a great deal. The last he is seen in Northern Lights is when he is attacking the Tartar rearguard, but he also reappears in the end of The Amber Spyglass greeting the mulefa. He spots Lyra and Will's love first off, and is saddened that he can do nothing. It is said that he learnt a great deal of patience and courtesy over the years, and negotiates the trade between the two races. It is another interesting piece of trivia that the gyptians were the ones who took Lyra to the North where she began her adventures and they also took her home to Jordan College where her story ended.