Characters / Mage Winds And Mage Storms

This subsection of the Heralds of Valdemar Character Sheet covers the Mage Winds and Mage Storms trilogies.

Princess Elspeth and Companion Gwena

The heir to the throne of Valdemar under Queen Selenay. In Arrows of the Queen, Elspeth is Chosen by Gwena, a Grove-Born Companion.

  • Abdicate the Throne: In Winds of Fury, she realizes that her responsibilities as Heir would irreconcilably conflict with her role as the first Herald-Mage since Vanyel — among other things, the Heir is explicitly forbidden to go In Harm's Way therefore, she abdicates in favor of Selenay's twins.
  • Action Girl: Those who are expecting Elspeth to be a pampered royal brat are surprised to find her quite capable with knives, and later with magic as she leads an assassination squad into Hardorn to unseat Ancar.
  • Knife Nut: In the Arrows trilogy, Skif teaches Elspeth how to throw knives for self-defense. She demonstrates on Lord Orthallen in Arrow's Fall, and continues to carry hidden knives on her person in subsequent books, to the point that Kerowyn tells her (at the beginning of Winds of Fate) that she shouldn't rely on them too much because everyone knows she has them.
  • Magic Knight: She combines her knife skills with Adept-level magic to great effect in Winds of Fury, killing both Hulda and the Imperial envoy with them.
  • Phrase Catcher: In Winds of Fury, she is repeatedly greeted with, "We thought you were dead," to the point that her traveling companions start calling it "the standard greeting".
  • Royal Brat: Her nurse, Hulda, deliberately raises her as a spoiled, self-centered brat until Talia intervenes; even as an adult, people sometimes hold this period against her.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Defying her reputation as a spoiled brat, she sets out to prove that she can save Valdemar by finding a mage to aid them in their war against Hardorn.
  • Secret Legacy: She's a descendant of Vanyel by way of Queen Shavri, which is not revealed until Winds of Fury and explains her mage gifts.
  • Screw Destiny: Partway into Winds of Fate, Elspeth discovers that she's being railroaded by her Companion into a "Grand Destiny" — Gwena intends her to be tutored by a White Winds mage of Kethry's descent. Thanks in part to Kerowyn's training, she immediately rebels against this plan and seeks out the Hawkbrothers instead, to the ultimate benefit of all concerned.
  • Tyke Bomb: Hulda intends that Elspeth depose her mother and become the pawn ruler of Valdemar. The plan fails thanks to Hulda's fundamental lack of understanding regarding the Heraldic Circle, but she later succeeds with Ancar in Hardorn.
  • The Unfavorite: Starts off as this, because she strongly resembles her father. Selenay struggles on a daily basis not to hold it against her, and admits that it made the decision to leave her in Hulda's care easier to make.
  • Younger Than They Look: Her Companion, Gwena, is Grove-Born, meaning that, unlike other Companions, she is relatively young in guardian spirit terms. This leads her to make mistakes out of overconfidence, such as trying to railroad Elspeth into her "Grand Destiny".

Darkwind k'Sheyna and bondbird Vree.

A Tayledras Scout for k'Sheyna Vale, which he calls his home. He is bitter and cynical, mostly because of his father.

  • Byronic Hero: Can be summed up as more Byronic than Byron.
  • Disney Death: In Winds of Fury, Darkwind is severely injured and apparently killed by Hulda's attack.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Firesong admits that he was attracted to Darkwind when they first met, but the latter is quite heterosexual.
  • Love Interest: His teeth-clenched teamwork with Elspeth becomes genuine friendship after they initially defeat Falconsbane in Winds of Fate, and eventually blossoms into love in Winds of Change. Elspeth's abdication of the throne in Winds of Fury is as much for his benefit as for hers, as he was quite resentful of having to remain in the shadows as a secret lover due to her need to preserve herself for a potential marriage of state.
  • Magic Knight: Darkwind gave up magic after the accident with the Heartstone that claimed his mother's life and became quite proficient with bow and hook-staff. Once he takes up magic again, he rapidly regains his former strength.
  • Meaningful Rename: His name was originally Songwind, but he changed it along with giving up magic after the Heartstone accident.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Even considering that he temporarily gave up magic, he remains the strongest adept in his clan at a relatively young age. Firesong's appearance puts him in distant second and he resents this greatly.

Firesong k'Treva and bondbird Aya

A proud and arrogant young Tayledras Healing-Adept, initially called in from k'Treva Vale to k'Sheyna to assist with the Heartstone there. He becomes involved in Elspeth's training as a mage, and with the fate of Valdemar.

  • The Ace: At first, his skill at magic, his handsome appearance, and his utter unflappability make him at turns fawned over and envied by everyone at k'Sheyna Vale. He later reveals some of the price he's paid for this.
  • The Archmage: Falconsbane and the Eastern Empire aside, he is the strongest Adept-level mage in the known world.
  • The Beard: He offers an inversion of the standard use to Darkwind and Elspeth in Winds of Fury, capitalizing on Valdemaran assumptions about the Tayledras by pretending to be the Darkwind's lover so people would think that Elspeth could be in no way involved with him.
  • Bishounen: He is described as incredibly attractive, almost animesque, with flamboyant and ever changing hair and clothing styles, the pale skin and hair associated with Adept mages, and an intensely sexual presence.
  • Camp Gay: He is blatantly shaych, and proud of it.
  • Cool Mask: Firesong starts wearing masks, each one more elaborate than the last, when he gets his scars at the end of Storm Breaking.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: For An'desha when the mage storms start messing with his head. He considers killing Karal, An'desha's Heterosexual Life-Partner, because he thinks they are having an affair behind his back, even when there is ample evidence that Karal likes Natoli and neither he nor An'desha like each other that way.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Firesong thoroughly enjoys the attention he gets from both males and females, and even enjoys the conflicts he causes when their jealousies erupt over him.
  • The Fashionista: He loves fashion, and always has to make a statement.
  • Fisher Kingdom: As a Healing-Adept, the state of the environment can affect his emotions. When the mage storms start tearing up the land, they cause his mental state to deteriorate in turn.
  • Happily Married: Practically married to Silverfox, and very contented with his life.
  • In Touch With His Feminine Side: Why Firesong can make full use of Need's power in The Mage Storms, despite being male - he's balanced between masculine and feminine traits.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When he was young he could be a bit of an arrogant prick, but he always had good intentions and as he got older, he got better.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Came very close to turning into another Ma'ar, but stopped before he took the final plunge. Again, the slope was extra-greasy because of the Mage Storms.
  • Lethal Chef: A Running Gag in Storm Breaking was for someone in the Tower to be horrified at the thought that it was Firesong's turn to cook.
  • Older and Wiser: In Darian's Tale and even in Storm Breaking. Silverfox had a lot to do with the change.
  • Power Levels: He's an Adept. A Healing-Adept to be specific.
  • Scars Are Forever: The burns on his face and arms from saving the world in the last Mage-Storm wave.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: He disguises himself as one when he joins the infiltration team going into Hardorn. Subverted as well, because his "Magic Cure-All" is brandy laced with medicinal herbs, and really does work on upset stomachs.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Remember these twins Vanyel sired in k'Treva? Firesong is descended from one of them..
  • Yaoi Guys: With An'desha for a time, and later with Silverfox. Darkwind and him sometimes joke about something being between them.

Treyvan And Hydona

Two gryphons who live outside of k'Sheyna vale. They are surrogate parents to Darkwind k'Sheyna.
  • Mama Bear and Papa Wolf: Although Hydona is a bit more protective of her offspring than Treyvan, they are still willing to do anything for the sake of their gryphlets.
  • Snake Talk: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.

Starblade k'Sheyna

Darkwind k'Sheyna's father, an extremely distant man who alienates his sons in order to protect them from Mornelithe Falconsbane's influence over him.

Herald Skif and Companion Cymry

See entry on the Arrows Trilogy And Related Books page.


A magical sword that has been around since before the Mage Wars, dedicated to helping and protecting women in need. The sword previously appeared in the Vows and Honor books and in By the Sword, but only in Mage Winds does she regain full sentience, revealing that she was originally a priestess who sacrificed herself to bind her own spirit to an enchanted sword.
  • Anti-Magic: In the hands of a non-mage, Need provides a considerable degree of protection against magic. As shown in The Oathbound, this effect is potent enough to undo the magic of a demon on the threshold of godhood. In By the Sword, Quentin magically "convinces" Need to extend some of her protection against magic not just to Kerowyn but to the rest of the Skybolts as well.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Woman's Need calls me, as Woman's Need made me. Her Need I will answer as my maker bade me. As a magic weapon specifically made to protect women, Need physically and psychically compels her bearer to come to the aid of any woman in trouble, forcing this trope upon them and usually causing them quite a bit of trouble in the process.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Once Need chooses a bearer, she's magically bonded to them until it's time to pass on to the next wielder.
  • Cool Old Lady: She was at least middle-aged before she sealed herself into a sword, and has been in sword form a very long time.
  • Cool Sword
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Empathic Weapon: Even prior to fully reawakening, Need has a will of her own, choosing her own wielders and magically compelling them to help women in distress. When Kerowyn takes her up in By the Sword, she spends quite a bit of time struggling with Need over just how much influence she's going to allow the sword to have over her, given that the sword's compulsion to save women in trouble lacks any kind of a sense of proportion or context.
  • Gender-Restricted Gear: Only women can use Need. It comes as quite a surprise to everyone when Firesong is able to make use of her power in The Mage Storms, explained as Firesong being "balanced" between masculine and feminine.
  • Healing Shiv: Need has a healing effect as long as she's in contact with or close proximity to her bearer or any other injured woman.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She basically burns herself up to help the heroes prevent the Second Cataclysm.
  • Instant Expert: In the hands of a non-warrior, Need makes her wielder a master swordsman, allowing Squishy Wizard Kethry to fight like a Magic Knight.
  • Talking Weapon: After she fully awakens in The Mage Winds.
  • Weapon Wields You: Under extreme circumstances - such as being carried into battle against an Evil Sorcerer by a bearer with no training in magic or combat - Need can and will hijack her bearer's body completely, as Kero discovers in the early chapters of By the Sword.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Before coming to full sentience, Need would not allow her bearer to harm another woman. This nearly gets Kerowyn killed at least once.


Mornelithe Falconsbane, aka Ma'ar

King Ancar


  • The Corrupter: Successfully serves as this to Ancar and is driven off before she achieves this with Elspeth.
  • Older Than She Looks: Seems to be around Ancar's age, but is at least old enough to be his grandmother.
  • Meaningful Name: "Hulda" means "mole" in Hebrew.

An'desha shena Jor'ethan

The half Shin'a'in, half outblood descendant of Ma'ar. The body that Ma'ar possessed in order to become Mornelithe Falconsbane belongs to him, and thanks to the events of the Mage Winds trilogy he eventually reclaims it and his life.
  • Animal Eyes: As with Nyara, he still has these after being restored to his original form.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: He still has access to all of Ma'ar's magic. He uses this knowledge to fight the Final Storm and prevent a second Cataclysm.
  • Character Development: Probably undergoes the most character development of anyone in all the books save maybe Elspeth. He goes from being a complete coward, whiny and pathetic who is co-dependent upon Firesong and becomes confident in himself and a powerful mage who will backtalk Firesong to his face, and that takes balls.
  • Demonic Possession: His body is taken over by Ma'ar, which Karal equates with Demonic Possession.
  • Fighting from the Inside: An'desha in Winds of Fury as he helps destroy Ma'ar while trapped in his own mind.
  • Green Thumb: Shows a particular affinity and liking for growing plants.
  • Hellish Pupils: Even after the Star-Eyed returns his body to how it was (mostly) before Falconsbane transformed it, he still has slitted eyes like a cats.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: After returning to his previous form and being freed from Falconsbane, he is constantly afraid he will turn back into him somehow, basically wallowing in his own patheticness and depression.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Karal, they are best friends with no sexual attraction between them.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Half Shin'a'in, half outblood.
  • Pals with Jesus: He is basically best friends with his Goddess's Avatars.
  • Power Levels: He's an Adept. A Sorcerer-Adept, which presumedly means he can create life or something.
  • Shrinking Violet: Before meeting Karal and his character development sets in.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Karal and Natoli.

Avatars Dawnfire And Tre'valen

Two victims of Falconsbane who the Star-Eyed allowed to live on as her Avatars, able to appear on the Moonpaths and to take the shape of fiery vorcel-hawks. Dawnfire used to be a Tayledras scout and Tre'valen was a shaman of the Shin'a'in who fell in love with Dawnfire after she was trapped within the body of her bondbird.

Son Of The Sun Solaris

  • Asexuality: Her religion requires her to be chaste but she's very much this. It's unclear whether she's naturally asexual or whether Vkandis took away the desire much like Kal'enel does with her Swordsworn.
  • The Chosen One: Chosen of Vkandis.
  • Hero of Another Story: Solaris' political struggle against and reform of the corrupt priesthood of Karse would be worthy of it's own series.
  • Meaningful Name: "Solaris" is Latin for "Of the sun"
  • Modest Royalty: Is this in private, would be this in public if not for the episcopal pomp required by her position. Even in public, she eats modestly to make a point - she won't feast while her people starve.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike most of her predecessors, Solaris is not prone to finding heresy everywhere she looks. She is also sympathetic to people as individuals, such as specifically granting Karal leave to go visit his family before sending him off with Ulrich on the diplomatic assignment to Valdemar. Additionally, she gets along very well with Queen Selenay and this makes it possible for Karse and Valdemar to not only make peace, but also become actual allies.
  • She Is the King: Is the High Priest and Son of the Sun, not High Priestess or Daughter of the Sun.
  • Transgender: At one point, the narration refers to her as gender-neutral. It's downplayed, however, as she uses the female pronoun (aside from her ecclesiastical styling) and doesn't make a point of this - it's only seen by Alberich's mental senses.

Karal Austreben

The hero of the Mage Storm series, Karal is a young Karsite priest who was assigned to be the assistant and secretary of to the Karsite Ambassador, his mentor Sun-Priest Ulrich. He is a Channel, meaning he can act as a siphon for magical power but can't use magic himself.
  • Badass Bookworm: Very much so.
    • Badass Preacher: He's a priest, he saved the world. Tell me that doesn't make him a Badass Priest.
  • Bond Creature: With Altra, his Firecat. They aren't bonded like companions are, but were more or less assigned ot each other by Vkandis none the less.
    • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Referred to in story as "Karal's Lost Puppy Eyes", and used on Florian at least once.
  • The Confidant: To An'desha
  • Good Shepherd: He is a very good, kind priest who walks-the-walk, talks-the-talk and actually helps people, unlike most Valdemarans' views of Sunpriests.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of the second and third book, he knows that serving as a Channel will probably get him killed. He does it anyway.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With An'desha who is his best friend, and you could say Altra as well.
  • Mediator: tries to be this, and it's not for lack of trying his part when he fails.
  • Nice Guy: He is ridiculously nice, partly because he's a priest, partly because it's just how he is.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's in the thick of everything, but he's not exactly about to whip out a sword and start slashing people, quite the opposite actually. While he does get self-defense training, it's all of the 'Keep yourself alive until you get an opportunity to run away' nature.
  • The Team Normal: In the third book, he's the least exceptional member of the group — and he knows it. Silverfox points out that he is an example to all of them by coping with all the weirdness despite having no real experience or abilities to deal with it.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: "Channels" had never been mentioned in magecraft before his appearance (possibly justified since magic in Valdemar had just been rediscovered), but his ability is critical at the climax of all three books.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Natoli and An'desha.


A Firecat and hence the Karsite equivalent of a Companion, Altra was a Son of the Sun during his life and, at the order of Vkandis, was assigned to protect and guide Karal.
  • Bond Creature: With Karal. After Karal becomes blind, he uses his mindlink with Altra to see.
  • Cats Are Magic: Is a Master level mage, so is one step beneath Adept in power.
  • Cats Are Superior: Though in this case, since Altra was previously a Son of the Sun, he does technically outrank Karal by quite a margin.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: When Tremaine triggers his assassin, Altra is not quite fast enough to save everyone, and has to focus on protecting Karal because he has divine knowledge that Karal's abilities will be needed. As a result, he blames himself for Ulrich's death.
  • Intellectual Animal: Justified in that, like the Companions, he is a reincarnated former human.
  • Noodle Incident: Upon learning Altra's name, Karal thinks "Wasn't that the name of the Son of the Sun who—?" It is never revealed what Son of the Sun Altra did that was so significant.
  • Playing with Fire: Unsurprisingly for a divine servant of a sun god, Altra can create and control fire. Especially in defense of his charge, Karal. Getting into a fight with a Firecat is even more dangerous than doing so with a Companion.
  • Telepathy: Unlike the Companions, Altra is quite open about being able to mindspeak with whoever he wants to. He can also enable Karal to see through his eyes.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Altra can teleport himself as well as passengers, although he does have range and load limitations.

Companion Florian


The first Karsite ambassador and a (formerly) black-robed Sun-Priest, and the mentor to Karal.
  • Ambadassador: Ulrich is a very self-confident and unflappable individual, not least due to the fact that he is a powerful mage whose former job involved summoning and commanding demons. It is notable that he is assassinated through the use of magical weapons concealed in his quarters, rather than by an assassin that braved confronting him face-to-face.
  • Mentor Archetype: Ulrich is this to Karal. Although he is an ambassador and Karal is just his scribe and assistant, much of Ulrich's relationship with Karal is that of a wise elder teaching a student.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: He is killed in a magical assassination. Altra is quite upset because he could not protect both Karal and Ulrich.


  • Genki Girl: Despite her youth, Natoli is a sort of stand-on-a-table-and-rally-the-troops figure among the artificers. She is extremely enthusiastic about not only her own work but about invention in general.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Her father is a Herald, but she herself does not have any Gifts. This does get noted by other characters. It is a point of pride for her that she still does important work, even if she is not a Herald.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Karal and An'desha.
  • Wrench Wench: Natoli is committed to the goal of inventing steam-powered engines.

Grand Duke Tremaine

Silverfox k'Leshya

  • Rapunzel Hair: Has long black hair, down to his knees
  • Camp Gay: Not as blatant as Firesong, but he does not hide it.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: He is very pretty...
  • High-Class Call Girl: Sort of. He's a kestra'chern, something like a cross between a mediator, entertainer, and counselor. He takes responsibility for all of the Vale closest to Erroll's Grove and someone notes that as in that role, Silverfox is the primary mediator and maintains the emotional and mental harmony in the group, including, if necessary, taking someone into his bed. Unfortunately, even the generally open-minded and sexually liberal Tayledras don't always understand what a kestra'chern is. There were tensions between Firesong and his father, Starfall, regarding Silverfox's profession. Luckily several people from k'Leshya quickly apprised Starfall of what kestra'chern were in what were described as "choice words." There was still a somewhat... awkward greeting when Firesong introduces Silverfox in person to his father in Owlsight.