John Faa, more often referred to as Lord Faa, was the ruler of the western gyptians. His dæmon was a crow.
He was described as a kind, loyal, honest man who was a fierce fighter and protective of his people. He seemed to value honesty and straightforwardness, and enjoyed fighting. He once held a Roping in the Fens about the issue of children being stolen from their parents (Gobblers) and planned a rescue. Despite the racism the gyptians were subjected to, he was determined to rescue all the children, and that caused 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 turk traders, but originally refused her request to go to the North with them. He was a practical man, and was unsure around what he could not understand with his own eyes. For example, when Lyra explained her plan to go to the village by the lake to rescue the lost boy, Lord Faa was 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 seemed to mistrust Iorek Byrnison when they first met, believing the bear was a mad rogue that had killed many people. He eventually warmed up to him, though it is curious that when Iorek talked to Will about the few non-bear people he respected, Lord Faa's name was not among them. Iorek mentioned that Lord Faa was a fierce fighter earlier on in his life.
Lord Faa held council with the heads of all the gyptian families, and an ancient man named Farder Coram; who he seemed to respect and trust a great deal. He was last seen by Lyra when he was attacking the Tartar rearguard, but he also reappeared later to take to greet the Mulefa and take Lyra home. He spotted Lyra and Will's love first off, and was saddened that he could do nothing. It is said that he learnt a great deal of patience and courtesy over the years, and negotiated the trade between the two races. The Gyptians also took Lyra to the North at the start of her journey and then took her back to Jordan College at the end.