Characters / Arrows Trilogy And Related Books

This subsection of the Heralds of Valdemar Character Sheet covers the original Heralds of Valdemar trilogy (commonly known as the "Arrows" trilogy), as well as the stand-alone novels Take a Thief and By the Sword.

Herald Skif and Companion Cymry

Herald Talia and Grove-born Companion Rolan

  • Better as Friends: With Kris. Played with between her and Skif; they're so much better as friends that they don't even manage to get a romance off the ground to start with — they fall asleep at every attempt. Talia silently smiles as rumors circulate, knowing that Skif would never live it down if the truth ever came out.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Being an empath means she can heal your angst and trauma, as she does for her friends and people in need. It also means that she can destroy your mind, and if she thinks she should do it, she will.
  • Blood Brothers: With Skif, after a very brief and completely failed try at a teenage romance.
  • Bookworm: One thing that puts her at odds with her family is the fact that she's always skipping chores to read books. She also snuck in to her father's library on full moon nights to read. At one point she was afraid that she'd been found out for it, only to be told by her father's wives that as she was now thirteen, a marriage would be arranged for her.
  • The Confidant: Part of her job as Queen's Own.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading/Sex by Proxy: Unavoidably, due to her empathy and the fact that Rolan is, ahem, quite a mare's stallion.
  • The Empath: Her magical power. She can sense emotion and act as a Living Lie Detector in local disputes, but she can also influence other people's mental state.
  • Farm Boy: A Holderkin girl who Skif refers to as a "farmgirl." She serves the usual purpose of The Everyman, being an unschooled view into the world of Valdemar. In addition, she wasn't Chosen as the Queen's Own primarily because of her latent and immense empathic abilities (though they certainly help), she was Chosen because she knew how to deal with spoiled little girls.
  • Fish out of Water: Since her people are kind of a Wacky Wayside Tribe to Valdemar as a whole, she's totally out of her depth when she gets to the Collegium.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: She catches a bit of this in Arrow's Flight, because, to simple Valdemaran villagers, her use of Empathy is magic, and her brutal Mind Rape of a rapist makes her come across as The Fair Folk. She's not hated, but she is feared and distrusted in several villages as word gets around.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny girl to Dirk's huge guy.
  • Honest Advisor: Part of her job as Queen's Own.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inflicted by Rolan on Talia twice. The first time, it was a temporary measure to get Talia to Haven without a mental breakdown. The second time, it was because Talia saw something she shouldn't have and that could lead her to discover a lot of the Companions' secrets prematurely.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With both Skif and Kris.
  • May–December Romance: she's 19-20, Dirk is in his mid-30s.
  • Meaningful Name: Talia means "dew of God" in Hebrew. Her arrival at the Collegium is a definite relief for the Heraldic Circle, and the "from God" part becomes even more appropriate once we learn the true nature of Grove-Born Companions.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Dirk.
  • Mind Rape: In an unusual heroic example, Talia inflicts Mind Rape as a punishment on a few select people who deserved it.
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: She is completely disowned by her Holding for "running away" and getting Chosen as a Herald.
  • Noodle Incident: Only sort of. She undertook a diplomatic mission to Karse, befriended Solaris, and was named an honorary Sun Priest. The details are in the story Sun in Glory in the anthology of the same name.
  • Older and Wiser: In the Mage Winds.
  • Power Incontinence: In Arrow's Flight, her Gift goes completely out of control.
  • Rape as Drama: In Arrow's Fall, she is tortured and raped in prison for an extended period.
  • Runaway Fiancé: At first.
  • Shrinking Violet: Initially. She grows out of it with time and Character Development.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Becoming this.
  • The Voiceless: Rolan. He can Mindspeak anyone he chooses, but like most Companions he pretends he can't, and since Talia's Gift is empathy rather than Mindspeech, Rolan is only seen to speak three times in the series - once when he Chooses Talia, and twice to Dirk in Arrow's Fall.
  • When She Smiles
  • Wise Beyond Their Years
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: A good chunk of the plot in Arrow's Flight is her learning this.

Herald Kris and Companion Tantris

  • Better as Friends: With Talia
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Dirk.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Talia.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Both Kris and Tantris in Arrow's Fall.
  • Secret Legacy: Very likely to be a descendant of Vanyel, since he is related to the royal family and certainly has the good looks. He may even have had MageGift, since in the post-magic setting of Valdemar this was usually misidentified and trained as FarSight.
  • Unwitting Pawn: For his uncle Orthallen who uses him in multiple plots. He tries marry Kris to Selenay, suggests him as an heir replacement and questions his faith in Talia as Queen's Own

Herald Dirk and Companion Ahrodie

Lord Orthallen

  • Ambition Is Evil: Orthallen, as senior Council member and Selenay and Sendar's confidant, is one of the most powerful people in Valdemar. The fact that he's still not satisfied and wants to be king shows how blindly greedy and ambitious he is.
  • The Confidant: Confidant, close personal friend, and high-ranking adviser to Queen Selenay, her father King Sendar, and her grandfather King Roald. A powerful adviser dedicated to furthering Valdemar's interests (or so everyone believes).
  • The Chessmaster
    • Xanatos Speed Chess: Orthallen is a master of taking advantage of existing opportunities and schemes to further his own agenda and removing traces of his involvement when the plans go south
  • Evil Chancellor: Close personal friend and high-ranking adviser to three generations of the Royal House... while plotting against them all along.
  • Man Behind the Man: Was shooting for this.

Herald Keren and Companion Dantris

Herald Jadus and Companion Fortunea

  • Magic Music: Jadus came to the Collegium as a Bardic Trainee.
  • Retired Badass: Formerly a field Herald and the King's bodyguard.

Herald-Captain Kerowyn and Companion Sayvil

  • Action Girl
  • Better as Friends: With Daren.
  • The Chains of Commanding
  • Defrosting Ice Queen
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Her story began when she rescues her brother's fiancee; while Dierna is certainly grateful to be rescued, the aftermath proves highly uncomfortable for everyone.
  • Famed In-Story: Her early adventures were turned into a song which dogs her throughout the rest of her career, to her distinct chagrin. It doesn't help that she has perfect pitch, and not all of the people who perform that song in her honor are all that good at singing.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Is a Mindspeaker, but until she is Chosen she rarely uses the ability, feeling it would make others distrust her. Also wields Need, but does her best not to rely on Need's abilities.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: She and Eldan begin their relationship with an After-Action Patch-Up. Kero lampshades the trope in the process, acknowledging that she's felt the impulse plenty of times before, this is just the first time it's happened in the vicinity of someone she wouldn't mind waking up with.
  • Good Is Not Nice
  • Insignia Ripoff Ritual: She performs the self-inflicted "I quit" version halfway through By The Sword.
  • Mindlink Mates: Both played straight and averted. She and Eldan can speak mind-to-mind, and can open their minds to each other while making love, but they are not lifebonded.
  • Mind over Manners: Kero scrupulously avoids using her mindspeech whenever possible out of fear that her fellow mercenaries won't be able to trust her otherwise.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: She purposefully exhausts Eldan with a night of lovemaking and leaves while he is still asleep in order to avoid a confrontation about her decision, fearing that he might convince her to change her mind.
  • Older and Wiser: In and after the Mage Winds trilogy.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Nearly. In a non-romantic example, her fellow Skybolts were trying to tell her they'd deposed the abusive former Captain and promoted her. She assumed they were agents of said Captain out to arrest her and fled accordingly.
  • Secret Legacy: Her mother was a Black Sheep among Kethry's children and her father disliked mages, causing her to pretty much grow up unaware of her Shin'a'in relatives until the events of By the Sword kick in.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: With Eldan, for over ten years.

Prince Daren and Companion Jasan

Herald Eldan and Companion Ratha

  • Animal Eye Spy: A skill of Eldan's, made possible by a special form of telepathy.
  • The Determinator: Like all Heralds. It also shows through in his relationship with Kerowyn; Eldan does everything within his power to maintain some kind of contact with Kero, from legally requiring her to redeem the ransom he'd promised her in person to meeting her telepathically in dreams all the way from Valdemar.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Appears (by description only) in Arrow's Flight, sitting beside Selenay at the Heralds' party celebrating Elspeth's Choosing by Gwena.
  • I Will Wait for You: A subtle example; he never took up with anyone else after Kerowyn, and ten years later still hopes to reunite with her.
  • Skunk Stripe: A streak of white hair at each temple.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: In addition to standard MindSpeech, Eldan possesses a rarer form which allows him to sense and communicate with the minds of animals.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: With Kerowyn, for over ten years. She isn't too pleased to find out they weren't just dreams.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ratha confronts Kero as she's trying to make a More Hero Than Thou Sneaky Departure, forcing her to explain everything.

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