|Nealan of Queenscove|
|Years of Service|
|Grandparents||Emry of Haryse|
|Parents||Baird of Queenscove|
|Siblings||deceased older brothers, Jessamine of Queenscove, other siblings|
|Wife||Yukimi noh Diaomoru|
|Other Family||Roxanne of Haryse (aunt), Martin of Meron (uncle), Glaisdan of Haryse (uncle), Domitan of Masbolle (cousin), at least five other cousins, Balduin of Disart (brother-in-law)|
Nealan "Neal" of Queenscove began his page training shortly before Keladry of Mindelan. He was then her sponsor and they became friends. His sharp tongue repeatedly got him into trouble with their training master. After passing his page examinations Neal became the squire of Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau, where he learned both about weaponry and healing. Once he passed his Ordeal of Knighthood Neal was set to the Scanran border to built a refugee camp along with Kel and Merric of Hollyrose. After the war was winding down Neal married Yukimi noh Diaomoru and subsequently they had at least one daughter.
Neal began his page training in April of 452, at the age of fifteen. Before this, Neal had been studying healing at the royal university, where he learned to read lips because the masters "were always whispering about something." He enters page training after the deaths of his two older brother because he wants to uphold the family tradition of always a Queenscove being in royal service as a knight. During his days at as a page, his greatest amusement seemed to come from baiting the training master, Wyldon of Cavall, who Neal proclaimed was "stiff as a stump." To keep her from being chased away, Neal volunteered to sponsor Keladry of Mindelan, initiating a friendship that will likely be life-long.
Neal became the squire of Lady Alanna the Lioness. While he learnt numerous tricks and trained further in weaponry, Alanna helped Neal train and extend the ability of his strong healing Gift. In addition, he made a number of contacts relating to 'the Whisper Man', through Alanna's spymaster husband, Baron George Cooper of Pirate's Swoop.
Kel and Neal are knighted in 459. They are sent north to the Scanran warfront, where they are assigned to build a refugee camp, Haven. Under Kel's command, Neal is the head of the healers, organizing the infirmary. When Haven is destroyed by the enemy, Neal helps Kel travel into Scanra to track down the Haven refugees, including the children who are intended to fuel the killing devices created by Blayce the Gallan. He later helps her build another refugee camp, the fortified town New Hope.
Neal is tall, fair-skinned, and lean, with light brown hair that sweeps back from a widow's peak. His slanting eyes are a deep emerald color, the same as his healing Gift. His face is willful, with high cheekbones and arched brows.
Throughout his page and squire years, Neal pines for various court ladies, the most prominent of whom are Thayet jian Wilima, Veralidaine Sarrasri, and Uline of Hannalof. He writes poetry and sonnets to the ladies. This amuses his friends immensely.
When Princess Shinkokami, a Yamani princess and a good friend of Kel, comes to Tortall to marry Prince Roald, she brings with her two Yamani ladies. One was Haname noh Ajikuro, and the second is Yukimi noh Diaomoru. Kel introduces Neal to Yuki, and they fall in love. They were engaged sometime between Neal's Ordeal in December 459 and mid-March of 460. Neal is reluctant to speak of Yuki and his sadness over leaving her due to the Scanran War, which leads Kel to believe that he is truly in love - his previous crushes have all been treated with drama. They planned to be married in September of 460.
? │ ┌——————————————————————┴——————————————————————————————┐ │ Haryse │ │ │ │ Baird of Queenscove ┬ Wilina of Haryse unnamed sister ┬ unnamed husband │ │ │ Domitan of Masbolle ┌———————————————┴——————┬——————————————————————————┬——————————————————————————————————————————┐ │ │ │ │ Graeme of Queenscove † Cathal of Queenscove † Nealan of Queenscove ┬ Yukimi noh Daiomoru Jessamine of Queenscove - Balduin of Disart │ unnamed daughter
Neal is the son of Duke Baird of Queenscove, who is chief of the realm's healers. Neal had two older brothers who died in the Immortals War. One of his sisters, Jessamine, is Kel's age. In Lady Knight, Duke Baird mentions having other sons and daughters, but he doesn't say how many. Neal is the oldest living son, however. Thus he will inherit the fief and become "Duke of Queenscove" after his father's death.
Balduin of Disart is Neal's brother-in-law through his marriage to Jessamine.
Neal's cousin through Duke Baird's sister, Domitan of Masbolle is a sergeant in the King's Own. Dom and Neal are close as brothers. Through their exchanged letters, Neal tells Dom all about Kel. Neal is constantly exasperated by the nickname Dom gave him: Meathead, which Kel often uses when she's mad at Neal, and since their "yearmates", or knights from the same year as them, don't know about Neal's nickname, Kel threatens to tell them about it. Needless to say, Neal almost always caves in when Kel uses this threat.
Through his mother Neal is related to Roxanne of Haryse and Glaisdan of Haryse, both his mother's siblings. This also makes him the nephew of Martin of Meron and cousin Lord Martin's and Lady Roxanne's five children.
At the end of Lady Knight, Irnai, a child-seer at New Hope, prophecies that Neal's daughter will be a lady knight, and that his life will be filled with surprises.
The most prominent of Neal's friends is Keladry of Mindelan. He becomes her sponsor in her first year, and the friendship, while unusual, is extremely strong. Among other things, Kel ensures that Neal eats his vegetables, while he helps her with life in general, including the occasional healing. He helps her by taking her to see Daine, who speaks to Kel's horse, Peachblossom, on Kel's behalf. Despite this kindness, Neal remains Peachblossom's favourite target for a bite.
In addition, Neal gets on well with the other lads in his year grouping, particularly Merric of Hollyrose, who later works with Kel and Neal to command and protect a refugee camp.
His knightmaster is Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau, the King's Champion. When initially approached by her, Neal was willing but worried about the effect this might have on his friendship with Kel, who idolised Alanna. On discovering Kel's own acceptance as a squire to Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie's Peak, Neal accepts. It is suggested that Alanna may have requested him partially on behalf of his father, who knew that Neal was always disappointed not to finish his education in magical healing. Under Alanna's guidance, his Gift is further trained. In addition, Neal meets Alanna's husband, George Cooper, and gets to know a few of his disreputable contacts, including those who help them cross the River Vassa into Scanra in 460.
Neal has the ability to remember all the cards dealt in a card game.
The name 'Nealan' is probably derived from the shorter name - and his nickname - 'Neal', which is Celtic and means 'champion'.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Random Buzz; "Royal University, Archaeology, Neal's Family, and Carthak"; April 20, 2009
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Radom Buzz; "Lady Roxanne"; April 21, 2009
- ↑ Tamora Pierce on Sheroes-Central (Nov. 2002)
- ↑ Tim Liebe on Sheroe's Central (Nov. 2002)