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Veralidaine Sarrasri

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Veralidaine Salmalín
Daine
Tortallan character
Biographical information
Nickname Daine, the Wildmage, Magelet
Aliases
Born 436 HE
Died
Race Demi-god
Nationality Tortallan, org. Gallan
Title
Physical description
Gender Female
Height 5'6"
Weight
Hair Smokey-brown, curly
Eyes Blue-grey
Gift Wild Magic
Magic
Family information
Ancestors
Grandparents Benek
Parents Sarra Beneksri and Weiryn
Siblings
Husband Numair Salmalín
Wife
Lover
Children Sarralyn Salmalín (daughter), Rikash Salmalín (son)
Descendants
Other
Affiliation
Rank Assistant Horsemistress (former)
Teacher Numair Salmalín
Student/s
Position
Occupation
Affiliation
Bibliographical information
First mentioned '
First appeared Wild Magic
Last appeared '
Latest appearance Trickster's Queen

Veralidaine Salmalín (née Sarrasri) (pronounced vehr-AHL-ee-dayn sahl-mah-LEEN (née SAHR-rah-sree) (b. 436 HE[1]), also known as Daine (pronounced dayn), is Gallan by birth although Tortallan by adoption. She is a warrior and mage in the King's service, and was formerly Assistant Horsemistress the Queen's Riders. She is generally known as the Wildmage as there is currently no other possessor of wild magic with such power. She and her husband Numair Salmalín make a formidable magical team, and were key players in The Immortals War.

She has adopted a baby dragon named Skysong (whom she nicknamed Kitten) and has powerful magic with all animals, including the ability to speak to them through their minds. She also has the ability to shape shift into any animal, except for immortals, since the rule is that if one takes on the shape of an immortal, he or she may not change back.

Biography

Early life in Galla

Daine was born in the tiny village of Snowsdale in the mountains of Galla in late January of 436 HE[1]. Her mother was Sarra Beneksri, and her father was unknown, leading Daine to take Sarrasri as her last name (derived from her mother's first name). She lived with her mother and maternal grandfather, and had a generally happy childhood, although the stigma of being a bastard bothered her. She had, as her mother put it, "a knack with animals" and used her talent to help members of her village. For instance Daine often helped Hakkon Falconer in training his birds.

In 449 HE, Daine's village, Snowsdale, was sacked by bandits. The raid caused many deaths, including that of Daine's mother and grandfather. Daine herself and her mare Cloud only survived by pure chance because her mother had sent her to visit her friends Lory and Rand, in the next village over. After the raid, Daine went wild, living amongst the wolves to get revenge on the bandits. The people of Snowsdale labeled her as being mad and tried to kill her. She only barely got away and fled; realizing what had happened. In Cría, she was hired by Onua Chamtong to become Assistant Horsemistress in the Queen's Riders and invited to come back with her to Tortall.

Life in Tortall

Journey to Tortall

On the road to Tortall with Onua, Daine confronted Stormwings for the first time and used her wild magic without knowing, for instance when she accidentally healed birds who had come to help her but would have died from the injuries the Stormwings had inflicted on them. The Badger, the male god of his species, first appeared to Daine shortly after she met Onua. In order to find her more easily he left her special token: One of his claws.

While travelling with Onua Daine also rescued and befriended the mage Numair Salmalín. He had been drugged trapped in the shape of a falcon and couldn't shapeshift back in his human form. Only Daine with her magic—of which she didn't yet know—could help him back in his human form, when not even Alanna the Lioness could save him. Numair discovered Daine's talent with animals was actually wild magic and became her teacher. Their lessons continued even after they arrived in Corus at the Royal Palace, but Daine discovered that the "madness" that had gripped her when she lived with the wolves in Snowsdale was still there and about to surface when she dove too deep into her magic. In order as not to go mad again Daine decided against following the lessons as thoroughly as she should have and rather lied to her teacher and friends instead of telling her what was the matter.

First summer as Assistant Horsemistress

All the same Daine adjusted to life in Tortall, working with the Queen's Riders and learning to control her magic from Numair. She even met and became friendly with Queen Thayet, who helped train the new recruits for the Queen's Riders that summer, and King Jonathan. Although the recruits didn't listen to Daine at first they soon came to see that Daine knew what she was doing and began minding her. While with the recruits Daine made friends with Evin and Miri.

Daine also accompanied the recruits and their teachers to their summer camp, that year at Pirate's Swoop. On the way there her powers should prove useful again in helping negotiating peace with a couple of griffins nesting near the swoop. Listening to one of the Badger's advices Daine finally told Onua and Numair of the events in Snowsdale and how she had gone mad. Numair helped her with overcoming her fear by placing a magical wall in her mind which would prevent her from losing herself within an animal.

Once they arrived at Pirate's Swoop Daine befriended Prince Roald, Princess Kalasin and Alanna's son Thom.

Battle at Pirate's Swoop

Pirate's Swoop, where Daine was with the trainee Riders, was besieged by suspected Carthaki pirates. They demanded the surrender of the Queen and her children. However, Baron George and Queen Thayet refused to meet the conditions, making battle inevitable. Thus Daine was eventually forced to use her wild magic to call on the animals of the area for help, although she wanted to keep the animals out of harm's way at first. Daine saved the day, after a fashion; the pirates were eventually removed by a kraken Daine inadvertently summoned after her attempt to call the whales for help had failed.

During the siege, Daine encountered a female dragon named Flamewing. She convinced her that Daine and her friends weren't the enemies and Flamewing decided to fight on their side, inflicting considerable damage to the pirate fleet. After the dragon was killed in battle, Daine became foster-mother to Flamewing's newborn daughter, Skysong, also known as Kitten.

Dunlath Rebellion

Daine and Numair helped thwart a rebellion against Tortall in Dunlath in 450 HE[1]. The two went on reconnaissance trip to the fief of Dunlath, partially to find out the fate of a Rider Group who vanished in the area. They were also coming to the aid of the Long Lake wolf pack, whom Daine knew from Snowsdale. The wolves, who were more intelligent than normal animals through long contact with Daine, asked her to talk to the nobles of Dunlath on their behalf and to ask them to stop mining in the valley. However, Daine didn't have any success and was only scorned and laughed at by the nobles.

Daine and Numair found that the Rider Group was dead, and that Yolane and Belden of Dunlath were plotting to overthrow the Crown with the assistance of Tristan Staghorn and some other mages, with the backing of Emperor Ozorne of Carthak. The mages set up a barrier around the fief, thwarting the attempts of Maura of Dunlath, Yolane's younger sister, to escape and inform the King and Queen of the conspiracy. With the help of Maura, the ogre Iakoju, the Long Lake Pack, and other allies, Daine was able to break the barrier and allow Numair and the King's forces to enter Dunlath and put a stop to the plans of rebellion. Eventually, the conspirators were neutralized: Numair turned Tristan into a tree, Belden committed suicide, and Yolane tried to get away on horseback but failed and was arrested.

During her time in Dunlath, Daine discovered two new magical abilities, with the help of the Badger—she learned to share an animal's mind and use its senses, and to shape-shift.

Carthaki Diplomatic Mission

Daine was sent as part of a Tortallan peace delegation to Carthak in 451 HE. Her part in the delegation was to care for Emperor Ozorne's birds, who had been ill. This enabled her to see another side of the Emperor, the side of a man very kind and loving to his birds. She healed the birds, and befriended Kaddar Iliniat, the emperor's heir. She also got to know Lindhall Reed, an old friend and teacher of Numair. However, the gods, particularly the Graveyard Hag were displeased with Carthak and Ozorne, and the Hag chose Daine to be her instrument; for this she gave Daine part of her powers to bring the dead back to life.

When Ozorne imprisoned Daine and supposedly executed his onetime-friend Numair (he executed Numair's simulacrum), Daine used her abilities and the Graveyard Hag's power to hunt down Ozorne and destroy the Imperial Palace by awakening the dinosaur skeletons kept in the Hall of Bones in the palace. She changed into a hyena and chased after the Emperor herself with a pack of these animals, thus fulfilling a prophecy that hyenas would eventually lead to Ozorne's downfall. Daine and the hyenas finally caught Ozorne and the only chance he could see was to use a gift Rikash Moonsword had given him earlier and transformed himself into a stormwing.

The Immortals War

Several years into the Immortals War, Daine and Numair went to fight Skinners and were about to be killed but her parents saved them and brought them to the Divine Realms. Daine was introduced to her father Weiryn, a minor hunting god and saw her mother who had turned into a goddess after death. Numair and Daine had to journey through the realms to get home and help fight in the Immortals War. Part of the way they were accompanied by the Badger and Broad Foot, the male duckmole god. Daine also discovered and befriended the darkings Ozorne had sent to spy on them. To leave the Divine Realms Daine and Numair had to rely on the help of stormwings to fly over a large desert. They also needed the assistance of the dragons to leave the realms. For this Daine had to persuade them to help her at first. She finally succeeded and the humans returned to the Mortal Realms. There Daine and Numair were needed to help freeing Port Legann of its siege. Daine herself eventually killed Ozorne. She was instrumental in a conference of the gods that resulted in the defeat of Uusoae and many of the immortals being returned to the Divine Realms.

Post-Immortals War

After the Immortals War Daine lived with Numair in the palace in Corus. Their rooms were on the floor where most of the academics lived, among them some of the page's teachers, near the page's classrooms. Daine also taught the pages in magic.[2] Daine helped Keladry of Mindelan with her balky horse Peachblossom, convincing him to behave better and in turn telling Kel not to use the spurs on him. A year later Daine treated the dog Kel had found, Jump. Kel had asked her to keep Jump, but Daine told her that she wouldn't force him and that he probably wouldn't stay with her, which proved to be true.

The Scanran War

Daine was instrumental in gathering intelligence during and in the lead-up to the Scanran War. She helped defend the refugee camp Haven, and served as a messenger and scout to the Tortallan forces. However, she couldn't do so any longer once she became pregnant around August of 461 HE, because the baby was giving her a hard time by constantly changing its shape in the womb and forcing Daine to do so likewise. Since March of 462 HE Daine had been on bedrest in the royal palace where Queen Thayet insisted that her own healers and midwives attended Daine.[3] She gave birth to a baby girl, Sarralyn Salmalín, in May of 462 HE. Her second child, Rikash Salmalín was born not even two years later, probably in the second half of 463 HE.

Physical description

Daine is described as having thick brown curls (which are often tamed by a headscarf) hanging past her thin shoulders. Her "soft, full mouth said she was vulnerable; her chin was entirely stubborn." She has blue-gray eyes, framed by long lashes.

Daine was five feet six inches tall at age 17.[4]

Skills and Abilites

Physical Skills

Daine is skilled in the use of both crossbow and longbow to the point where she is set to teaching trainees for the Queen's Riders how to shoot as even the officers have to work to beat her. She is as good with archery as Alanna the Lioness is at sword fighting.

Along with her skills as an archer, Daine is an expert tracker and is well-versed in wilderness survival.

Magical Abilities

Daine's uniquely strong Wild Magic enables her to communicate with all vertebrate animals, and speak mentally with those immortals who do not have voices of their own. She can even control animals and force them to do her bidding, though she doesn't like to use this power, for fear of abusing it.

Wild magic allows Daine to heal animals, though, like all her magical abilities, this can sometimes occur out of her control.

Any animal who comes into prolonged contact with Daine, notably her faithful horse Cloud, gains intelligence beyond the norm for their species and begins to act more human.

On her mission in Dunlath Daine discovered (through her badger advisor's cryptic suggestion) that she can assume an animal's shape though it is revealed that this does not extend to an immortal's form (if she takes an immortal's shape she cannot shift back).

For a short period of time in Carthak, Daine has the ability to 'raise the dead', as in making dead creatures, fossilized or stuffed, become animated, but not actually becoming flesh and bone. They do not have minds, as they are already dead. However, Daine must use her energy to raise the dead, so they do not stay animated forever. After the downfall of Emperor Ozorne, this ability is taken away.

Relationships

Romance and Family

         Benek ┬ ?
               │
           Sarra BeneksriWeirynVeralidaine SarrasriNumair Salmalín
                                         │
                      ┌——————————————————┴————————————————┐
                  Sarralyn Salmalín                    Rikash Salmalín


Daine had several admirers during her first several years in Tortall (age 13-16), but she never took any of them very seriously.

Although at first they maintained a strictly platonic teacher-pupil relationship, she and Numair eventually became lovers, and live together in the Palace. They were married in April of 462 HE[5] and are known to have two children, Sarralyn Salmalín (who, like her mother, had wild magic) and Rikash Salmalín.

Skysong

Daine is the adoptive mother of the dragon Skysong, called Kitten. Daine cares for Kitten and teaches her. Kitten regards Daine as her mother and chooses to stay with her over staying in the Dragonlands.

Cloud

Cloud is Daine's horse and oldest friend, who has been with her since before the death of Daine's mother and grandfather. Cloud and Daine were the only members of their household in Snowsdale to survive the bandit raid. The other horses—Cloud's kin—died along with the humans. Daine and Cloud consider each other as family, not only because they know each other so long and well, but also because no other member of their families is still alive—although Daine later discovers that her mother and father live as gods in the Divine Realms. When Daine first comes to Tortall Cloud is her voice of reason, telling her to trust the "stork-man"--her name for Numair—and the others. In those days Cloud also helped Daine not to lose her human self among the animals, by biting Daine if no other way remained. Her devotion to Daine also shows in the fact that Cloud even stayed with the girl, when she was living among the wolves.

Weiryn

As a teenager, Daine discovered her unknown father was Weiryn, the god of the hunt. Weiryn acknowledged her as his offspring and offered assistance to her and Numair in the Divine Realms. After briefly considering taking her father's name and replacing "Sarrasri" with "Weirynsra," Daine decided to keep her original name, as she is proud to be her mother's daughter. Besides their brief encounter in the Divine Realms Daine doesn't really know her father.

Brokefang

Brokefang is the leader of the wolf pack that Daine joined after the destruction of her village. She later was able to help him and his pack settle their differences with the humans at Dunlath. Daine and Brokefang consider each other to be pack, a close bond.

Although all animals who come into contact with Daine are altered, this process may have been accelerated by Brokefang cleaning a wound of Daine's, thus ingesting her blood.

The Badger

The Badger , the cantankerous male badger god, is a friend of Daine's father, Weiryn. The Badger protected Daine and guided her, particularly in her early stages of mastering her wild magic. In Wild Magic, he first comes to Daine in a dream, giving her a claw of his to wear around her neck so that he could find her wherever she was in the world. In Emperor Mage, the Badger was forced by The Graveyard Hag to plant a magic on Daine: the ability to bring dead creatures back to life> As Daine was in Carthak, the domain of the Hag, he had no choice. Because of his anger at being forced to do this, he forgot to tell Daine how to use her powers, which resulted in her fainting several times and accidently bringing animals back to life when she did not mean it.

In The Realms of the Gods, the badger helps escort Daine and Numair to the the Dragonlands . Along the way, they discover that the enemy was spying on them using darkings, and Daine asks him to travel to Tortall with a group of defected darkings so they could persuade the spy darkings to spy for Tortall instead.

Onua

Onua was Daine's first friend in Tortall. She met Daine at a fair in Cria, in Galla, as she was searching for someone to help her with her horses, Onua being the horsemistress to the Queen's Riders. Onua took a chance by hiring Daine to work with her as assistant horsemistress. She travelled with Daine to Tortall and gave her work, as well as acceptance and trust, in her early days in Tortall, and the two always remained good friends. She later became godmother to Daine's first child, Sarralyn.

Ethical Dilemmas

Daine faces unique ethical problems in her relationship to animals due to her Wild Magic. She believes she has a responsibility to take care of and heal animals. Most animals love her and wish to help her. She regards animals as friends and is reluctant to force them to do things against their will.

She can ask or force animals to fight to defend humans, but it often wary of doing so. When she first learned to harness her powers, she refused to allow animals to fight for her, even when they wanted to, on the grounds that they would not normally interfere with human affairs. However, she relented and has often allowed animals to fight in human battles and serve as spies, though she takes precautions to help protect them.

Daine cannot shape shift into creatures she eats, because she gets queasy on eating creatures she has shared a mind with. Thus, the only meats she is able to eat are domestic fish and farm animals.

Animals become more intelligent, in a human sense, merely by being around her. It is also possible for her to enhance the intelligence of animals to help them co-operate with humans, as she does at the Haven refugee camp in 460 HE. She doesn't consider this as benefiting the animals, and believes it may even harm them.[6]

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tortallan timeline
  2. First Test, Cp. 5 (p. 96; Random House paperback)
  3. Random Buzz; "Yuki and 'labor and delivery' in Tortall."; April 20, 2009
  4. Page, Chp 1. (Kel is five foot three; later in the chapter Daine is described as three inches taller.)
  5. Sheroes-Central
  6. LK, Chp 8

See also

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