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Characters / Mage Wars Trilogy

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This subsection of the Heralds of Valdemar Character Sheet lists characters from the Mage Wars trilogy.


  • Absentminded Professor: In the Storms books, readers get another glimpse into his Tower. He appears to have been interested in everything, but this also meant he could and would jump between projects on a whim, and in at least one case, forgot he had an entirely new breed of gryphons to watch over. In his defense, there was a war on.
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  • The Archmage: Can make permanent Gates, made the gryphons from scratch, and helped with the Tayledras bondbirds and Shin'a'in horses.
  • Big Good: Leader of the forces against Ma'ar
  • The Chains of Commanding
  • Emperor Scientist:
  • Foil: To Ma'ar. Both are Person of Mass Destruction and leaders of their respective armies and are scientists (Uthro made gryphons, Ma'ar created makaar) and powerful mages. However, Ma'ar seeks power and control while Uthro wants peace and is a Reluctant Ruler. Urthro shelters the very people Ma'ar is trying to eradicate.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: A combination of a one of his Mage weapons and his own Tower blowing up caused a World-Wrecking Wave. If you think Vanyel is strong.....
  • Red Baron: The "Mage of Silence", so called because uniquely, no spell that he casts has any form of identifying "personal flair". On the other hand, this means that since his magic is so incredibly "generic", it's a dead giveaway that Urtho was behind it.
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  • Reluctant Ruler: Ended up as the leader of an army by 1. being one of the most powerful mages alive and 2. being the only guy to take charge after everything fell apart.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: A generally benevolent one.


  • Ace Custom: Has a custom paint job (actually customizing himself would be weird). His feathers are painted black.
  • Ace Gryphon: One of the best fliers among the gryphons. Also, one of the most insane fliers among the gryphons.
  • Desk Jockey: In The White Gryphon, he's become one of the leaders of the new settlement, and he's getting fat and out-of-shape because herding cats and leading the settlement have kept him from going out and doing stuff like he used to. Signifying this, he doesn't have his feathers painted anymore.
    • He's Back: Signified by painting his feathers black again, when he tries to figure out who's framing Amberdrake for murder.
  • Dance Battler: Yes. He studied choreography and incorporated what he learned into his flying stunts. It's what's made him so difficult to kill and unpredictable in the sky.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh yeah. It's funniest when he's snarking at himself.
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  • Didn't Think This Through: Usually when coming up with Indy Ploys
  • The Gadfly: He finds perhaps a bit too much enjoyment in teasing his friends and family...
  • Iconic Outfit: Or the Gryphon equivalent, anyway. Skandranon has his feathers painted black as a sort of Ace Custom paint job.
  • Indy Ploy: Skandranon's strategy seems to be come up with a crazy idea, improvise when everything goes to heck and hope it works out.
  • Large Ham: Skandranon revels in being overdramatic and flashy.
  • Overprotective Dad: In The Silver Gryphon.
  • Red Baron: "The Black Gryphon," so named because of his painted feathers.
  • Snake Talk: Skan is noted as being unusually articulate for a gryphon, and normally has perfect diction, but he does slip into hissing when he's very tired or angry.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: When tired or angry.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Skandranon is incredibly difficult to be around if he likes you. If he dislikes you, he's insufferable.


  • Dark and Troubled Past: He's had a rough life due to the war.
  • The Empath
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: A rare male version. Helping Winterhart recover from her trauma brings them closer together.
  • Healing Hands
  • High-Class Call Girl: Unfortunately mistaken for one, to his frustration. He is a kestra'chern, a profession that entails being counselor, confessor, emotional support, entertainer, and mediator, anything that can contribute to the emotional and mental well-being of others. They're rather similar to the Companions on Firefly, though less religious in nature. It's implied that he has sex with a client, a young female soldier, after he gives her a rather brutal sports massage to realign her spine after she was thrown from her horse (she didn't want to go to the Healers because she didn't want to waste their resources on fixing her when there were those who were far worse injured). The unfortunate confusion between kestra'chern and camp prostitutes leads to several unfortunate though somewhat funny incidents.
    • A young Healer makes the mistake of calling him a prostitute in a public mess hall. Amberdrake cuts the Healer completely down in public, without raising his voice at all.
    • A very confused, very sexually frustrated Zhaneel, overhearing the above soldier client and misled by some innocent remarks from Skandranon, tackles Amberdrake during her first appointment with him, asking if he was going to... service her (the appointment technically was for a grooming and primping session, after which female gryphons usually go to meet an intended partner). It goes from bawdy comedy to tragedy pretty quickly though, as Amberdrake yells rather thoughtlessly, "I can't!" meaning the size and species differences but inadvertently triggering an emotional meltdown from Zhaneel, who suffered from suicidal ideation from her crippling self-hatred. Thankfully, Amberdrake is able to calm her down sometime later.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Winterhart
  • Non-Action Guy
  • Stepford Smiler: Type A. As a Kestra'chern and Healer, he has to maintain an image of calm serenity for his patients, but he's introduced having a grief-induced breakdown out of worry for Skan.
  • Overprotective Dad: In The Silver Gryphon.


  • All of the Other Reindeer: She was bullied and laughed at for being a runt and being different.
  • Shrinking Violet: Due to being bullied as a chick.
  • Snake Talk: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Starts off viewed as (and viewing herself) as a "misborn" who would never amount to anything and would only be of use in the army as cannon fodder. Ends up being one of, if not the only gryphon who can keep up with Skandranon, and personally relied upon by Urtho for specific missions only she can carry out.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.


Gesten the Hertasi


  • Disability Superpower: Kechara is perhaps the most powerful telepath we encounter in the Velgarth universe, but it's implied (and outright discussed in The Silver Gryphon) that her power comes at the expense of her developmental disabilites.
  • Meaningful Name: Kechara means "beloved". Her name lets Skandranon know that while Urtho kept her in a tower, he still cares for her.
  • Mutant: She's one of the unexpected results of the gryphon breeding program.
  • Never Grew Up: She's chronologically the same age as Skandranon, but physically and mentally stuck in a childish state.
  • Snake Talk: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.
  • Telepathy: An extremely powerful telepath. Urtho has her locked in a tower for her own safety as her powers would make her a target for Ma'ar's forces
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.




See the entry on the Mage Winds And Mage Storms page.


  • Failed a Spot Check: When he considers marrying Winterhart and she starts showing reluctance to pursuing the later stages of courtship, it takes him a while to make a link between this and the glaringly obvious fact that she has a young child fathered by Amberdrake and the child in question has come to the palace with her parents.

Silver Veil

  • High-Class Call Girl: Technically a kestra'chern, a profession that entails being counselor, confessor, emotional support, entertainer, and mediator, anything that can contribute to the emotional and mental well-being of others. As part of being a provider of comfort and support, kestra'chern can provide sensual and sexual services, most being trained in massage, beauty treatments, and sexual acts. They're rather similar to the Companions on Firefly. When traveling with her household, including a disguised Amberdrake, she has to use every bit of her training to get through checkpoints when bribery or bluffing doesn't work. Slightly averted because she ends up in southern empire, where kestra'chern are revered and well-respected members of society and not conflated with sex workers.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Desperately in love with her primary "client," Shalaman, though they cannot be together because of the strict social hierarchy, and very nearly has a breakdown when Shalaman proposes to Winterhart, though she doesn't hate Winterhart for attracting the attention of her beloved.
  • Lady of War: Beautiful, composed, sword skills and able to lead a group of refugees through a war.
  • The Mentor: To Amberdrake.
  • Silver Vixen: Her kestra'chern name comes from her beautiful long white hair. Silver Veil is probably about age fifty in White Gryphon and still considered quite beautiful.


  • Four-Star Badass: A respectably ranked officer in Urtho's army who keeps getting promoted higher and higher - in part from her intelligence, courage, and leadership but also in part because a horrifying war of attrition is eating away at Urtho's army despite his best efforts. By the time White Gryphon comes around, she then makes quite a respectable shift as a civilian leader too, organizing infrastructure and starting a police force.
  • Iron Lady




  • Red Baron: Became known as "Tadrith Wyrsabane" after the events of The Silver Gryphon, and is still remembered millennia later as more than just "one of Skandranon's children", a remarkable achievement.
  • Snake Talk: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Because of the gryphon vocal anatomy.



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