Characters: Last Herald-Mage Trilogy
This subsection of the Heralds of Valdemar Character Sheet involves characters from the Last Herald-Mage Trilogy.
Vanyel Ashkevron and Companion Yfandes
- The Arch Mage: One of the last for a very long time.
- Ambadassador By Magic's Price, Vanyel has become much in demand as a diplomat, probably because of the massive respect engendered by his magical powers and battlefield heroics.
- Abusive Family: Verbally abused and shunned by his father Withen. Coddled and embarrassingly treated by his mother Tressa. Physically abused by the arm-master Jervis, to the point that the man broke his arm when Vanyel outwitted him in a training exercise and claimed that Van was cheating. Made to feel inferior and less than nothing by the family priest, who would then make regular reports to Withen about how worthless and foolish Vanyel was. And completely and utterly shunned by his own siblings and cousins because of his status as heir and because of his perceived superiority complex. And even the cousins who actually treated him like a person were too frightened to stand up for him. The only person who treated him decently was his older sister Lissa, but after she's shipped away he's left at home with nobody to defend him.
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Subverted; Vanyel could possibly count his number of lifetime lovers on one hand (no more than two hands) and is basically celibate by the time he reaches his thirties.
- All Gays Are Pedophiles: Explicitly averted. People (at least Withen and anyone influenced by him) seem convinced that he's after underage and barely-legal males and view the amount of time he spends with them as suspicious. His detractors are wrong: he just has a soft spot for troubled youth (possibly due to his own miserable childhood and adolescence).
- Badass Gay: He saves his country several times over, sometimes by diplomacy, sometimes with magic, and sometimes with sheer physical skill. In fact, this is the reason why homophobia isn't an issue in Valdemar as a whole: How do you condemn gays when your nation's greatest hero is openly homosexual?
- Badass in Distress: While held captive by a group of thugs.
- Bi the Way: Considers the possibility for a while before dismissing it in Magic's Promise. May be slightly true considering the existence of his children, the twins being concieved by him precisely because both Starwind and Moondance were unable to take care of that part themselves. Then again, they are lifebonded and Vanyel notes it as a "business deal" in a fashion.
- Blessed with Suck: How he feels about his gifts in between getting them and being trained in them. He still sometimes feels this way, but his sense of duty keeps him from too much despair.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Vanyel and Liss deliver a much-deserved tirade to Withen in Magic's Pawn.
- Camp Gay: Vanyel in Magic's Pawn (his father knew he was gay because he liked music and fancy clothes), and, to a lesser degree, in Magic's Promise and Magic's Price.
- Chosen Conception Partner: Conceived a child with Shavri due to Randele's infertility. With the latter's blessing.
- Covered with Scars: By the beginning of Magic's Promise, he has collected numerous "decorations" from knives, swords, mage-fire, electricity, a demon trying to eat his heart, etc., uzw., and so forth.
- Dance Battler: Based on descriptions of his combat style.
- Deadpan Snarker: Yfandes. She's especially snarky when dealing with Vanyel's angsting.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Vanyel dreams of his battle with Leareth years before it happens.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Thanks to Tylendel.
- Also, thanks to Stefen in the third book.
- Doomed by Canon
- Driven to Suicide: Fortunatetly interrupted both times.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Vanyel has pale skin and blue-black hair, and by the end of the first book, even his allies find him a little scary.
- Gayngst He feels it a lot in Book One. By Book Two, he's mostly concerned with the pragmatic effects of having a reputation for homosexuality in a somewhat homophobic culture.
- Go-to Alias: Valdir the scruffy minstrel, of the Go-to Identity variation.
- Heel Realization: When Stefan interferes with a massive Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Magic's Price.
- Heroic BSOD: In Magic's Pawn, after Tylendel's death, and in Magic's Price, after going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after being raped by bandits employed by the Big Bad.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Honorary Uncle: Tries to get Stefen to consider him that early in Magic's Price, due to him being good friends with (and actually slightly younger than) his actual nephew. This is also his official status to Jisa, but it slips towards actual fatherly support due to both Randale and Shavri having other issues on their plate by the time she's six and also because, due to Randale's infertility, Vanyel is Jisa's biological father.
- Ice Queen: During a large chunk of the first part of Magic's Pawn, with the appropriate metaphors and everything.
- Incompatible Orientation: Poor(?) Melenna.
- Jerkass Fašade: Adopts one after falling in love with Tylendel in order to keep their relationship secret from Vanyel's father.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Much of the point of Magic's Pawn is to coax the gold out of the Jerkass Fašade that he constructed to protect himself from being hurt.
- Last of His Kind: The Last Herald-Mage
- Living Legend: By the second book, even Heralds are awestruck by him.
- Lover and Beloved: He's twice Stefen's age, and for this reason among others tries very hard to stick strictly to a mentorship role for quite a while, only Stefen isn't having it. Van himself was a Beloved to Tylendel, which meant he depended on his lover for everything. Their closest associates quickly pointed out how unhealthy it was.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He has this reaction after seeing the results of giving Tylendel Savil's spellbook, and again after killing semi-innocent people in a rage against their brutal associates.
- Magic Knight
- May-December Romance: With Stefen.
- Mindlink Mates: With Tylendel and Stefen.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: When his mind-speech first wakes up, he can't shield anyone's thoughts out, so he hears how most of the other Heralds would rather he had died and Tylendel had lived. This leads to him almost being Driven to Suicide, but luckily Yfandes and Savil stop him.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Has enough power that he could potentially level Haven (Valdemar's capital).
- Phrase Catcher: At the beginning of Magic's Promise, he is repeatedly told "You look like hell". Justified in that he does, having just gotten back from a year on the front lines filling in for five other Herald-Mages at once.
- Professional Sex Ed: His father hires him a female prostitute in an attempt to cure his homosexuality.
- Rape as Drama: After his capture by a sadistic gang in Magic's Price.
- Red Baron: Demon's Bane, Shadow Stalker, The Hero of Stony Tor...
- Reincarnation Romance: With Tylendel/Stefen
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He goes on a couple of these: first, after a magically-altered creature kills Savil, and second, after a group of thugs rapes and tortures him, both in Magic's Price.
- Safety in Indifference: At the start of Magic's Pawn Vanyel finally decides to cut himself off from all emotion as a way of dealing with his emotionally abusive father exiling him to a strange city. This is reflected by his ice dream, and eventually leads to him opening up to Tylendel.
- Bounces back into this by Magic's Price as the deaths of many of his friends and lingering wounds from Tylendel's death leaves him with very PTSD-like symptoms.
- Secret Legacy: He is the ancestor of the Valdemaran royal line and a line of mages in Clan k'Treva.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Unstated but very much there by the second book. He's on a hair trigger, shows Death Seeker tendencies, has trouble coping with the deaths of his friends and has a Guilt Complex over it. By the third book, he's started retreating into himself over untreated emotional problems.
- Shrouded in Myth: To the later generations. The song Demonsbane (about the battle of Stony Tor) is a good example of his folk hero status. In it he takes on a nobleman backed by a wizard, demons, and thirteen armed men single-handed and wipes the floor with them just to make a point.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Savil thinks Van would be better off he were a little less pretty. He doesn't share this perception.
- Superpower Lottery: He won it. But since the price of his lottery ticket was Tylendel, he would have rather have not entered at all.
- Took a Level in Badass: When the trilogy starts, he's a fop with no manifested powers of any kind. By the second book, he's probably the most effective warrior in Valdemar.
- Troubled, but Cute
- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Even though the stress of the job seems to be nearly killing him (and it's only a matter of time before an enemy does him in for real), he can't quit protecting Valdemar through his work as a herald.
- What Beautiful Eyes: Silver ones, which he gets from his mother, along with the rest of his good looks.
Tylendel Frelennye and Companion Gala
- Closet Key: For Vanyel
- Diabolus ex Machina: Like whoa.
- Dirty Mind-Reading/Sex by Proxy: An ill-planned attempt unlocks all his psychic gifts too early.
- Apparently he tried to do this with his Companion in a moment of loneliness. She never let him forget it.
- Driven to Suicide
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gala.
- Hot-Blooded: A mild example. Tylendel is certainly intense about everything (loving Van, supporting his brother, learning magic) and also has a habit of rushing into things, against the advice of everyone around him.
- I Owe You My Life: Stavan kept him sane for months after his gift awoke and before he was Chosen. Due to that, Tylendel feels like he owes Stavan a debt which is why he supports his brother even when he shouldn't.
- Mindlink Mates: With Vanyel
- My Greatest Failure: The Heralds themselves seem to consider him this, especially Savil, his trainer.
- Power Incontinence: He suffered this before he was Chosen. As he's not fully trained, it crops up in moments of emotional stress. Like when Stavan died
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Stavan is killed
- Thicker Than Water: Constantly excuses and supports his brother. It moves into Moral Myopia to everyone's frustration.
- Twin Telepathy: With his brother Stavan.
- Blood Brothers: Is a Wingsister to clan K'Treva, and is especially close to Starwind.
- Cassandra Truth: Realizes that the deaths of the other Herald-Mages are not accidents, but murders. Vanyel refuses to believe her until its too late.
- Cool Old Lady
- Deadpan Snarker: Extremely so. It can occasionally work against her as she comes across as extremely caustic to people who don't know her.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Dies in the third book.
- My God, What Have I Done??: After narrowly adverting Vanyel's suicide attempt in Magic's Pawn, Savil grimly realizes that all of this could've been avoided had she realized Vanyel's deeply rooted problems as opposed to treating the boy like a nuisance, and she vows to treat him much better.
- Resentful Guardian: How she treats Vanyel at first in Magic's Pawn. To Savil, she has more important things to do with her time than babysit and chaperone her "spoiled little nephew" and doesn't hide to Vanyel how much she hates having him around and how inconvenient his being there is. Unsurprisingly, when life takes a tragic turn for Vanyel, he's very reluctant to accept Savil's help.
- Secret Keeper: Vanyel had to tell her about his children at the end of Magic's Promise after finding out that a spell that can kill anyone in a given bloodline with mage-potential had been set as a trap in the Lineas palace.
- Bond Creatures: His bondbird
- Magical Native American
- May-December Romance: He's twice Moondance's age.
- Mindlink Mates: With Moondance
- ...And That Young Boy Was Me: Due to having a That Man Is Dead situation to the person he was before he met Starwind, he does this each time he tells someone about his younger years.
- Bond Creatures: His bondbird
- May-December Romance: With Starwind
- Mindlink Mates: With Starwind
- Has Two Daddies: Actually three considering a third guy sired him.
- Only Sane Man: He plays that role during his only actual appearance, when his fathers refuse to leave the Vale for a day to save Vanyel and Treesa's life.
- Raised by Dudes: Averted.
Lord Withen Ashkevron
- Cure Your Gays: He actually hires a (female) prostitute for his fifteen-year-old son in order to "cure" him. It doesn't work.
- Hidden Depths: Turns out to be a decent politician when he moves to Haven.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Angrily arrives at Haven to give Savil a verbal beatdown for allowing Vanyel to carry on a relationship with another boy, but his attitude does a complete one-eighty upon seeing that Tylendel's suicide, the forcible awakening of his Mage abilities, and Vanyel's own suicide attempt had turned Vanyel into a broken, sickly mess.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Is notably more calm, easygoing and accepting of Vanyel in Magic's Price.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy
Lady Treesa Ashkevron
- Hysterical Woman: Actually seems to take pride in it.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Maybe. Vanyel views her as hysterical and weak willed but he's biased and the fact remains that she encouraged his interests and protected him in her own way. When Stefen meets her, she's calm, composed and polite to Yfandes. She even endures a mage attack with grace. It's up in the air whether she's Silk Hiding Steel, Obfuscating Stupidity or Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy
- Absurdly Youthful Father: He's thirteen or fourteen when he gets Melenna pregant with Medren. In addition, he had six children with his wife during the twelve-year Time Skip between the two first books, so his oldest true-born child may not be that much younger than Medren.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: To Vanyel in Magic's Pawn.
- Generation Xerox: Is the spitting image of Withen. It's a family trait apparently.
- Older and Wiser: In Magic's Promise and Magic's Price.
- Hopeless Suitor: For Vanyel.
- Settled for Gay: Offers that to Vanyel after admitting to her Hopeless Suitor status so his parents will get off his back. Vanyel refuses as he has met people who had done it and told him it was a bad idea.
- Settle for Sibling: Tried to do this. Medren showed up nine months later.
- Stalker with a Crush: The lengths to which she goes in Magic's Promise qualify as sexual harassement.
- Heroic Bastard
- Magic Music
- Out of Focus: Once Vanyel and Stefen get together, he all but drops out of the story.
- Shipper on Deck: For Vanyel and Stefen. He just forgot to mention to Vanyel, who's slightly paranoid about younger fanboys making advances to him despite Incompatible Orientation, that Stefen was shaych also before they had the opportunity to meet (while Stefen knew about Vanyel).
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He terrorizes Vanyel in the early parts of the first book, but proves to be a surprisingly decent guy in the subsequent novels.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He terrorized Vanyel on the orders of his father who felt it would "make a man of him".
- Determinator: By the end, it's sheer willpower that's keeping him alive
- Mindlink Mates: With Shavri
- Your Days Are Numbered: Hints of it in the second book and by the third is outright dying of a terminal incurable disease.
- The Empath
- Healing Hands: A Kings Own Herald and Healer.
- Mindlink Mates: With Randale
- The Mistress: Officially insofar as those outside of court and the circle are concerned for two reasons. An outside Marriage Alliance was both possible and potentially needed, and the prospect of being co-ruler terrified Shavri.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Spent his life as a beggar on the streets. Subverted in that besides making him slightly more pragmatic and selfish, Stefen has mostly overcome his childhood and has very few emotional problems from it. Many other characters (Vanyel case in point) can only dream of doing this.
- Driven to Suicide: Nearly, until he is stopped by Vanyel's ghost.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Literally - in order to earn his happy ending with Vanyel after death, he's asked to spend his life working to overcome the perception of Heralds as inferior to Herald-Mages.
- The Hedonist: At first.
- Heroes Want Redheads: His hair is described as bright auburn.
- Hourglass Plot: He's a reincarnated Tylendel. In addition to now being the "weak but mentally stable" half of the lifebond, the end of Magic's Price has him follow Vanyel on a revenge quest, loose him soon after, and have to live most of his life without him by his side.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: Thanks mainly to sheer determination, he manages to keep up with Vanyel on a mission and actually winds up saving it from disaster.
- Lover and Beloved: With Vanyel. In regards to sex, though, this is flipped, as he has more experience than Vanyel, who's sometimes celibate for years at a time. It's how Vanyel and Stef avoided the power imbalance that Tylendel and Vanyel had. Stef brought greater mental stability and sexual experience, Vanyel greater life experience.
- Magic Music: Specifically has the power to soothe pain through music.
- May-December Romance: With Vanyel. The age difference is such that he's a little younger than Medren (fathered by Vanyel's younger brother) and less than five years older than Brightstar, his twin sister and Jisa.
- Meet Cute: Runs into Vanyel after playing his fingers to bits and snaps at him in irritation.
- Mindlink Mates: With Vanyel
- Morality Chain: He plays a major role in keeping Vanyel sane.
- Really Gets Around: Before meeting Vanyel he had quite the reputation.
- Reincarnation Romance: Is Tylendel reborn
- Street Urchin: His backstory.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Mainly due to his childhood and uncertain place in life, Stefen starts out coolly pragmatic and selfish. Spending time with Vanyel teaches him to be more caring and ethical in using his power.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: It's really easy to forget that Stefen is only 18 when he and Vanyel meet. In contrast to a lot of the people around him (Vanyel and Tylendel (and a lot of other Heralds) were emotional messes at that age) and in spite of his childhood, Stefen is stable, self-possessed and confident with hints of wisdom and empathy. He has growing up to do but is still miles ahead of many other characters.