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Reigning Monarch
Liege Lord
Years of Service
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Honorific '
Race Raka
Nationality Copper Islander
Physical Description
Gender Female
Height Short
Hair Black and wiry
Eyes Brown
Other Plump
Family Information
Adoptive Parents
Adoptive Children
Other Family Kyprin Crows[1]
Visda and Ekit[2]
Patron God
Rank Commoner
Residence Grey Palace
Tanair (former)
Bazhir Tribe
Occupation Head chef and armsmistress[3]
Affiliation Dovasary Balitang
Raka Conspiracy
Raka Rebellion
Sarugani Temaida
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Trickster's Choice
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Trickster's Queen
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '

Chenaol (pronounced CHEN-ah-ohl) is a raka commoner of the Copper Isles. She works in the kitchens of the Grey Palace where she also is the armsmistress, and is sworn to Dovasary Balitang the Queen of the Copper Isles. Before the queen's ascension, she was a servant and cook to the Balitang household, and was one of the heads of the raka conspiracy—a group that planned to restore the queens of old to the Kyprin throne. Chenaol used her position as head cook for the Balitangs to order in knives and weapons for the conspirators[4].


Early life

Not much is known about her early life. When Alianne of Pirate's Swoop asked her about her family, she said she was rarely in touch with them. It is unknown if they are estranged. She did serve the Temaida family and Sarugani Temaida. She mentioned that her mother used to sleep in the main hall of Tanair, along with the rest of the Temaida noble family. This would suggest that Chenaol's family has served the Temaidas for generations. As Chenaol knew about the Haiming blood that the Temaidas carried, this would make sense.

Aly's arrival

In early May of 462 HE, Chenaol and Ulasim Dodeka purchased a fine pastry chef for the kitchens of the Balitang household in Rajmuat. The slave sellers, who had noticed that eerily no one tried to buy Aly, threw her in for free, as a gesture of good faith. Chenaol and Ulasim decided to keep her, as they needed an all-purpose slave around the house[5]. Chenaol treated Aly with kindness, and gave her pointers and advice. She discouraged anyone of the household from sexually harassing Aly[5].

When Bronau Jimajen came to the house at a late hour, when most of the household was asleep, the Balitang family learned that they had fell from favor from King Oron[5]. Mequen Balitang, the duke, said that they must make expensive gifts to the king to convince him of their continual loyalty, but they must sell quite a bit of lands and slaves, and they were still in exile. Chenaol said that it would be back to the slave brokers for Aly, unless the Gifted person the Balitangs had hired discovered she had any talents. When Aly asked what would happen to Chenaol, she said that she would stay with the ladies Saraiyu and Dovsary. Always[5].

Exile at Tanair

The Balitangs were exiled to Tanair, their holdings on Lombyn Island[5]. Aly came with them, as Kyprioth had pretended he was Mithros in order to get Mequen and Winnamine Balitang to obey him. Chenaol began to be suspicious of Aly during the trip, but she still liked the girl, and didn't want to kill her until she was sure.

Aly began to ask way too many questions during the first few weeks at Tanair. There was one time when she asked Chenaol, Ulasim, Fesgao, and Lokeij outright what Duchess Sarugani was to the raka. This certainly alerted the conspirators, but she did discover that Sarugani was extremely important[6]. Chenaol, Ulasim, Lokeij, and Fesgao knew that they might have to kill Aly, but they all liked her. Fesgao had insisted that they wait and see and give her a chance[7].

When Aly and Chenaol were talking about the kindness that Mequen had toward the slaves in his household, both luarin and raka, Aly mentioned that his kindness stemmed from Sarugani's "heirs". This alerted Chenaol, as under luarin law, only boys inherit. She wanted to kill Aly and was about to when she was stopped by Kyprioth[7], who said that he brought Aly there for the raka conspirators. Aly discovered that they wished to put Sarai on the throne, but the Rittevon bloodline was notorious for holding onto the laws that women can't inherit. Chenaol said anything could change[7]. She told the rest of the raka conspirators about Aly and she said that their god brought her for them. Chenaol sent the raka shepherd girl Visda and Ekit to help Aly and graze with her. She made them promise not to mention the Kyprish Prophecy where anyone could hear[8]. When assassins came to visit Tanair in order to kill Duke Mequen, the raka conspirators set up traps and a plan to keep them from doing what they came to do. Chenaol armed choice members of the slaves and servants of Tanair with quite a few kitchen knives[9].

When Prince Bronau killed Duke Mequen, Chenaol was deeply saddened[10].

Uneventful winter

The raka conspirators spent the winter of 462/63 getting ready for upcoming events and plans that would take place during the spring and summer of 463[11]. As Duchess Winnamine, still grieving over the death of her husband, wanted to spend time with her family at Tanair for the winter, rather than be thrown in with the snake pit court at Rajmuat, it gave the raka conspirators some time to plan.

The return to Rajmuat

Chenaol returned to Rajmuat with the rest of the household on April 23rd, 463 HE[12], after their long stay on Lombyn Island. When Winnamine was shocked about their huge staff at Balitang House in Rajmuat, Chenaol gently chided her, saying that as Sarugani's former best friend, she should remember that raka nobility outfitted the eldest girl of the house with a staff of her own in order to make her seem a better marriage prospect[13]. Chenaol was surprised when she heard that Aly could distinguish someone's magic, as the conspirators didn't know she had the Sight[13].

When Dove joined their conspiracy—she was also a member of the luarin conspiracy, along with her stepmother and great-aunt, Chenaol accepted her. When Dove brought up the necessity of joining with the luarin conspiracy, Chenaol expressed disdain at the idea[14]. After being convinced of the needed alliance, she mentioned she would like crow-fletched arrows for the armory[14].

After the regents Princess Imajane and Prince Rubinyan offered King Dunevon's hand in marriage to Lady Saraiyu, by means of telling Duchess Winnamine, the raka conspirators were not happy, saying there would be riots in the streets if that sort of thing came to pass[15]. When Sarai eloped with Zaimid Hetnim, a Carthaki healer and mage, the conspirators turned on Aly. She told them of her run in with the Graveyard Hag, and she scolded Ochobu Dodeka when the woman accused her of lying, that she liked to tell lies that would be believed. Chenaol conceded the win of the argument to Aly. Dove reminded them that Sarai was not the only one who was twice-royal when Aly was taken by Kyprioth[16].

Chenaol later welcomed the other members of the luarin conspiracy besides Dove, like Lady Nuritin, Winnamine, Duke Normu, Imgehai Qeshi, Countess Tomang, Matfrid Fonfala, and others. After a riot started when assassins tried to kill Dove, she offered a better weapon to Nuritin, who accepted the offer gladly. She participated during the attack on the Grey Palace and lived to see Dove crown herself Queen of the Isles. She did not seem fazed after Aly informed her, Fesgao, Winnamine, and Dove of her connection to the royal family of Tortall, the King's Champion, or Tortall's spymaster George Cooper.

She stayed a cook and worked in the kitchens of the Grey Palace.

Physical description

Chenaol is a pure-raka in her mid-fifties. Her coarse black hair is streaked with gray, and worn in a braid down her back. There are faint wrinkles around her eyes and mouth, and she is on the plump side.

Personality and traits

Chenaol is a very matter-of-fact person. She is also kind and sympathetic, even to slaves. She discourages anyone from giving Aly trouble, and is quick to inform the girl of her rights in the Balitang household, when philanderers like Prince Bronau come to visit[5]. She is dedicated to Sarai and Dove because they are the last of the Haiming legacy and fit the bill for the Kyprish Prophecy, as twice royal young women.

She has excellent taste in knives, and knows what makes a good blade. This is crucial for her role as armsmistress. She also has a morbid sense of humor. When Aly woke up from a dream sleep with Kyprioth, Chenaol informed her of the deaths of four royal governors. She started a joke, asking "What do you call four dead governors? A good start."[16].

Notes and references

  1. The raka are said to be related to crows
  2. The children call her Aunt Chenaol, but she is probably not their real aunt, due to what she's said about her family. It is probably just an honorific that children use on a familiar adult, as is the case for many real life cultures
  3. Trickster's Queen, Ch. 21 "Work" (pg. 437)
  4. Trickster's Choice, Ch. 8 "A Spy's Work" (pg. 186; Random House paperback)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Trickster's Choice, Ch. 2 "Trickster" (pages 33—43; Random House paperback)
  6. Trickster's Choice, Ch. 5 (pg. 119/120; Random House paperback)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Trickster's Choice, Ch. 7 "Conversations" (pages 165—168; Random House paperback)
  8. Trickster's Choice, Ch. 9 (pg 200; Random House paperback)
  9. Trickster's Choice, Ch. 10 "Assassins" (pg. 240; Random House paperback)
  10. Trickster's Choice, final chapters
  11. Trickster's Queen, prologue
  12. Trickster's Queen, Ch. 1 "Rajmuat" (pg. 5)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Trickster's Queen, Ch. 2 "Dragons, Crows, and Doves" (pages 33—46; Random House paperback)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Trickster's Queen, Ch. 9 "Reports and Conspiracies" (pages 189—192; Random House paperback)
  15. Trickster's Queen, Ch. 12 "Meddlers" (pg. 250)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Trickster's Queen, Ch. 13 (page 274—275, 280—281; Random House paperback)
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