Characters / Deities And General Character Tropes

This subsection of the Heralds of Valdemar Character Sheet deals with the deities of the setting, as well as general character tropes shared by various groups within the series.

Kal'enel, "The Star-eyed Goddess"

The Goddess of all the Kaled'a'in clans, she has four aspects, the Maiden, the Warrior, the Mother and the Crone. It is mentioned in The Mage Storms that ancient Karse had a Goddess with an almost identical name, in addition to the God Vkandis.

  • Divine Delegation: The souls of her Sworn continue to serve her after they die, acting as trainers and advisers to living Sworn (among other things). In the Mage Winds trilogy, she branches out a little further by selecting a pair of Avatars.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Three of her four aspects, the odd one being the Warrior.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Her eyes look like a starry night sky, without discernible irises or pupils.
  • The Omniscient: Averted, even She doesn't always know what's going to happen.
  • Physical God: There is no doubt that She exists and She has interfered relatively often and unmistakably in the lives of her people over the years.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She is good to her people, but she doesn't baby them either.

Vkandis the Sun Lord

The God worshiped in Karse and Iftel
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: How he chose to start off his dramatic re-organization of the corrupt Karsite priesthood.
  • Fan Nickname: Vkandis the Unsubtle, due to the aforementioned bolt of divine retribution
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter! Is the mighty smiter in question. Unlikely most cases of this trope, he actually 'does' start smiling people.


  • Artifact Title: In-universe — most Heralds aren't heralds; they're called that because the first three people Chosen were the King, the Heir, and the royal herald.
  • A Boy and His X: A Herald is never too far from his or her Companion, especially on duty.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Not universally, but many Herald-Trainees were plucked out of old, ordinary lives, some of which were horrific, when their Companions arrived to get them. Somewhat lampshaded in the very first book written (Arrows of the Queen) as just before Rolan arrives and Chooses Talia, she briefly daydreams a Herald coming to choose her along with her Companion in tow.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Heraldic devotion to duty is legendary; they can torment themselves over the 'weakness' of wanting a moment or two to just relax.
  • Circuit Judge: The main duty of a Herald riding circuit.
  • Fish out of Water: New trainees often experience this.
  • Good Feels Good
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Their Whites. Quite deliberately in this case. Certain characters have a Running Gag of complaining about it (i.e. Kerowyn) and avoiding wearing them as much as possible.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sometimes, though not always portrayed as a good thing. One non-Herald character muses that Companions must know how to look for someone who can 'balance' morality and expediency.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Pretty much a requirement, it's mentioned that, theoretically anyone can be corrupted, but that most evildoers wouldn't be able to figure out what would corrupt a Herald much less provide it.
  • Living Lie Detector: Via the Truth Spell. Some can merely make a lie obvious; others can force a person to tell the truth.
  • Mind over Manners: Heralds have a lot of codes, often self-imposed, against reading the minds or emotions of others 1) when not required by duty or 2) without their informed consent.
  • Psychic Powers: Heraldic "Gifts."
  • Samaritan Syndrome: People in danger draw Heralds like a lodestone.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility


  • The Beautiful Elite: Vanity tends to be a Companion's vice. They like to look good for the general public, and for their fellow Companions (especially if they want a dalliance). Naturally, they have sets of show tack, all in blue and silver, with bells. And don't you dare call them horses.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Why they Choose whom they Choose. Some of them, like Yfandes, tell their Heralds they knew they would die because they chose that Herald but have no regrets.
  • Bond Creatures
  • Call to Adventure: They deliver it
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: And exactly where to find you. And will shanghai you from wherever you are and carry you off to the Collegium without so much as a by-your-leave. Even if you're being burned to death at the time.
  • Cool Horse: They appear to be graceful, pure white horses with blue eyes. Their strength, stamina, and intelligence far exceeds any normal horse, without even going into their personalities and supernatural powers. Even their silver hooves make a musical chiming noise when they strike the ground.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: All companions are incorruptible, and they all have blue eyes.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not wise to call them horses.
  • Intellectual Animal
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Will sometimes use this on Heralds
  • Masquerade: Companions have a lot of secrets.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: Their eyes are bleached to pale blue by their magic.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Mercedes Lackey has said that Grove-born Companions are essentially archangels who have taken on a mortal form, while regular Companions are basically ordinary angels (or reincarnated spirits) in a mortal body. At least some appear to be reincarnated Heralds, which is a huge secret.
    • And just to make it even more interesting, some Companions apparently go the other direction and return to life as Heralds.
      • In the Mage Storms, when in conversation with Karal about various Sons of the Sun being re-incarnated as Fire Cats, (the mystical companions and advisers to particularly favored or important priests) the Companion Florian (who's more or less the Companion's ambassador/cultural advisor to Karal) mentions absently that 'it depends on how many times you've been around'... which rather implies that many, if not all, of the souls concerned recycle fairly continuously (with a brief stop in the Havens to rest and recharge a bit) between Heralds — who don't remember their previous lives — and Companions — who do, and that's the source of their legendary wisdom... accumulated life experience! Florian dies as a Heroic Sacrifice during the final Mage Storm, and Karal (who was granted a brief vision of Florian's human form) resolves to keep an eye out among the Heraldic Trainees in about twenty years or so...
  • Omniscient Morality License: Companions don't have to answer to anyone for what they do (except perhaps other Companions).
  • Reincarnation: Many Companions are reborn souls, often of former Heralds.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Profoundly averted, and the desire to avoid this is at least part of the reason Companions don't reveal who or what they are.
  • Sapient Steed
  • Spirit Advisor: Technically. Sort of.