vanyel_ashkevron: (✥ [white] fallen)
Vanyel Ashkevron ([personal profile] vanyel_ashkevron) wrote2014-07-23 03:20 pm

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Name: Riddle
Age: 28
Personal Journal: N/A
AIM/MSN/etc: [ profile] tiger_eyes

Name: Herald-Mage Vanyel Ashkevron
Canon: The Last Herald-Mage: Magic's Price
Age: In his late twenties (28/29).
Timeline: After he performs the Final Strike and destroys Master Dark and his army (i.e. after his death).

Personality: Vanyel is a complex man. Since his childhood, Withen, his father, has tried to form him into the son he wanted (i.e. a heterosexual manly man). Therefore Vanyel often fought down his natural reactions and replaced them with what he thought Withen would like (for example he forced himself to sleep with women when he came of age and even tried to join in on bawdy jokes about them). Yet his father never once complimented him for his efforts, so it was only a matter of time that the then fifteen year old Vanyel felt supremely frustrated. He was so torn by Withen's lack of approval that he eventually recoiled from everyone.

By the time he met his Aunt Savil - a fully trained Herald for the kingdom of Valdemar - he had honed the art of hiding behind a careful mask of arrogance. Said mask earned him a flock of admirers in the court, but it repelled Savil and her trainees Tylendel, Mardic and Donni. But the trainees didn't give up on Vanyel so easily. It didn't take long for Tylendel's genuine kindness to break through the mask Vanyel had created. For the first time, the teenager understood his true sexual nature and why it had been such a chore for him to pursue girls. He hadn't even known that being gay was an option because Withen had kept it from him since the beginning. However once he accepted his desires (and accepted that he was indeed a shay'a'chern (Tayledras for homosexual)), Vanyel knew there was only one boy he wanted to be with: the one boy who had always been nothing but kind to him. Thankfully Tylendel returned his affections and once the two bonded, Vanyel began to open up to everyone. His callous arrogance melted away - quite suddenly - into pensive kindness.

His new quiet, thoughtful kindness stemmed from the fact that once he learned to love and accept another, he was finally able to love and accept himself. However, in the public eye (since being homosexual was looked down upon), he had to keep up the same arrogant attitude he had shown before - particularly towards Tylendel. He found that trying, yet he was willing to do it as long as he had his love by his side at the end of the day. Vanyel feared losing Tylendel the most and, sadly, there came a day when all of his fears came true.

On the night that Tylendel enacted revenge for his twin's death - with Vanyel's assistance - something in the young man broke. He was forced, helpless, to watch his lover not only murder, but also commit suicide after his beloved Companion Gala rebuked him. The emotional agony soon turned into physical agony as all of Vanyel's latent powers - and he had many of them - awoke at once. Every magical channel within his body was seared open and, if it hadn't been for his soon-to-be Companion Yfandes finding him, he would have died. However she looked after him and protected him from the storm caused by Tylendel's powers going haywire. She also began the healing process for him by shielding him from the pain until he was ready to handle it.

Even so, Vanyel wasn't sure he wanted to live. His condition didn't improve even when Healers sought to repair the damage. He tried to commit suicide by Tylendel's body, but they found him in time. It was then that his Aunt Savil sought the aid of the Tayledras - who were expert Mind Healers.

After he spent some time with two Tayledras Mage-Adepts (Moondance and his lover Starwind), however, he started to heal - which meant he began to open up to people again. Furthermore, he started to realize that with his new abilities (and he had many) came new responsibilities. At last, he understood what Tylendel had meant when he had said that, as a Herald, he couldn't not help people. Saddened by the irony and guilty over his inability to protect his beloved, Vanyel fell under the tutelage of Savil, hoping to become a full Herald-Mage one day so that he could protect those who could not protect themselves.

Time passed and Vanyel gained his Whites (a graduation of sorts for trainees who become full Heralds). He even began to serve the King and Queen of the realm on both a personal and public basis. However his heart remained broken and longing. He kept himself away from long-term romances (though he was known to give his seed to couples who could not have children). King Randale and Queen Shavri were one of the couples that he decided to aid in such a way. Unfortunately, by doing so, he began to question his feelings for Shavri. He loved her, but was he in love with her? Did that mean he wasn't a shay'a'chern after all? His confusion over his place on the sexual - and romantic - spectrum continued during the plot of the second book. However, by helping Tashir, he realized that he needed to be patient with himself and not jump to conclusions.

Tylendel had been his true love and he wanted him back. He learned that he was desperate for that sort of bond again and he felt hollow without it. Yet he also knew that his position in the court and on the battlefields was dangerous. He couldn't ask anyone to risk their lives just to love him. He would not lose another like he had lost his first love.

Thus, while Vanyel gained confidence and maturity in the second book, he also distanced himself more from his heart and made a vow to remain alone. However that was not meant to be a lasting vow. In the third book, his path crossed - again and again - with a young Bard named Stefen. The Bard possessed the ability to sing away pain, which was an essential Gift when it came to King Randale (who was slowly dying from a debilitating and very painful disease). Right off the bat, Vanyel was attracted to him, yet he was well aware of Stefen's age and innocence. Even after Medren - Vanyel's nephew (who was the same age as Stefen) - told him the Bard was a shay'a'chern too (i.e. gay), he held himself in check.

Stefen wasn't going to let that stand, of course, as he had been attracted to Van since he first saw him in person (while he was performing for King Randale during a counsel meeting). Though Vanyel dug in his heels, berated himself for even wanting to be closer to the Bard, Stefen finally won him over. The two became lovers once Vanyel's defenses fell and he realized, the morning after they had slept together for the first time, that he had Life-bonded with Stefen.

Like he had Life-bonded with Tylendel.

His guilt was overwhelming and he hated himself for letting it happen. However Tylendel visited him in his dreams and told him how silly he was being. Most of all, he told him he was happy for him. For the first time since Tylendel's death, he felt genuinely happy.

With his guilt assuaged - and his desires sated - Vanyel could focus all the better on matters of the kingdom. Master Dark - a dangerous Mage - was amassing an army to obliterate the Heralds and thus leave Valdemar defenseless. On the road to gathering information about him and his movements, Vanyel and Stefen - who was traveling with him - were attacked by bandits. Stefen was left relatively unscathed, but Vanyel was raped repeatedly and brutalized.

Something in him snapped. He killed all of the bandits - and two innocents - and nearly harmed Stefen and Yfandes when they came to rescue him. They were able to subdue him, thankfully, and he spent many days healing in the caverns of wolf-like creatures (the Kyree) who recognized Yfandes's good magic/aura. As long as Yfandes supported Vanyel, they would heal him.

Once he was on his feet, he thanked them profusely, reconnected with Stefen and found his strength again. Their path from the caverns led them into the path of Master Dark and Vanyel realized, at last, that his dreams of this day were Foresight. Instead of running, however, he chose to face the death that inevitably awaited him.

He sent Stefen away with Yfandes, needing them to be safe; to live. But as Stefen was riding away, he came to another realization. Stefen was Tylendel's reincarnation. That was why the Life-bond felt the same.

Despite his wishes, Yfandes returned to him after Stefen was safe. They faced Master Dark together and Vanyel called down the Final Strike - a spell meant to destroy him, Yfandes, Master Dark and most of his army.

It worked. Even the land was obliterated. He had faced his nightmares at last, seen his beloved to safety, saved the kingdom and its Heralds and he had no regrets. Finally Vanyel knew his purpose and he was proud of his place in the world - and in the Havens. All of his misgivings in life faded away and his spirit forged itself to be a guardian for Valdemar - particularly in the Forest of Sorrows.

Being brought back to life in Ruby City will be a shock. He will be confused about the power of those who rule the city and it will hurt to be torn from everything - and everyone - he fought to protect. A tendency to drift - like a spirit - will follow and he will try to reconnect with Valdemar. Unsuccessfully, of course. Then the reality of what has happened will sink in and he will slowly, but surely, reach out to know those around him.

And to protect them. That is his nature. No matter where he goes, that cannot be erased.

Note: Companions are higher beings that take the form of pure white horses with silver hooves. Each time a Herald is "Chosen", a Companion will find them and take them to Valdemar to be trained. Since Vanyel's powers came on him relatively late - and after much pain - Yfandes acted as his shield, protector and even his mother. She would not let anyone approach him until he could handle their presence.

Also, the bond Tylendel and Vanyel shared was a Life-Bond. In most cases, when a Life-Bond is severed by death, the living lover will seek death too. The fact that Vanyel survived such a traumatic event is even more astounding, though it has left him deeply scarred.

Background: I covered a good majority of it in his personality - and how it changes over the books - but there is also this page.

Abilities: All of his Gifts are covered here.

Network/Actionspam Sample: Slightly different canon point, but not by much.

Prose Log Sample: This takes place before he has fully healed in the Kyree caverns.