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Niklaren Goldeye
Reigning Monarch
Biographical Information
Nickname Niko
Born 982 KF
Magical Information
Magic Academic magic
Ranking Great mage
Institution University of Lightsbridge
Accreditation Mastery
Student(s) Trisana Chandler
Specialization Sight magic, star magic, scyring
Physical Description
Gender Male
Height 5'10"
Hair Black, streaked with silver
Eyes Black
Family Information
Adoptive Parents
Adoptive Children
Other Family
Lover Moonstream (quasi-canon)
Patron God
Rank Great mage
Occupation Teacher, wandering mage (current)
Professor at the University of Lightsbridge[1] (former)
Law Enforcement of
Guard District
Guard Badge
Bibliographical Information
Circle Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Sandry's Book
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Shatterglass
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned Battle Magic
"That's just his way, youngster. Master Niko, he's as hard to understand sometimes as any oracle. When the fit's on him, he can talk you so confused you'll forget which bearing is north."
—A captain about Niko[src]

Niklaren Goldeye (pronounced nick-LAHR-enn), nicknamed Niko (NEE-koh), is a powerful academic mage and one of the best truthsayers—people who can see whether someone is lying or being honest. He is considered a great-mage[2], putting him on the caliber of mages such as Lark, Rosethorn, Frostpine, Ishabal Ladyhammer, and others. As a seer, he discovered ambient mages Sandrilene fa Toren, Briar Moss, Trisana Chandler, and Daja Kisubo and brought them to Winding Circle[3] where they could train in their various magics. He became Tris's teacher, as there were no weather-mages who were at her skill or power level.


Early life

He was born in 982 KF[4] although very little else is known about his personal history before his education.

Magical education and scholarly work

Like so many great mages, he attended the University of Lightsbridge in Karang[5]. After he earned his mage's credentials, Niko chose the mage name "Goldeye" because of his specialty in sight and seeing magics[6]. After he graduated, he became a wandering mage, and traveled around, discovering new magics and people. He gained friends in many parts of the world, and became a world-renowned scholar of magic. He mastered and gained experience in a few other magics, such as star magic. By 1035 KF, Niko was a famous member of the governing board for mages of the University of Lightbridge, a board which, along with the Initiate Council of Winding Circle, sets the laws for mages. After seeing the world and new magics, Niko started to disagree with Lightbridge's austere and limiting way of teaching new mages. This is why he took the four young ambient mages to Winding Circle temple. He used to teach at the University, and Quenaill Shieldsman was a student of his during the time he taught. He had not been back at the University since 1030 KF[7].

An important mission

Niko began a very important task around 1034 KF[8] that involved finding new mages who needed instruction. His path crossed with those of four children, Sandry, Daja, Briar, and Tris, all of whom were saved in a different way. He found Sandry trapped in a magically concealed room to avoid the mob that was in response to the Smallpox Epidemic in Hatar. He found Briar about to be sentenced to work on the docks in Hajra, Sotat; he found Daja floating in the middle of the sea after Third Ship Kisubo was hit and destroyed by a killer storm; and he found Tris after she accidentally caused a small storm when she was angered.

He was with Sandry when she reconnected with her great-uncle, the Duke of Emelan, and was the one who suggested that she stay with other noble-born girls at Winding Circle. He was with Daja when she was sentenced to be trangshi by other Traders, and protected Briar from the brutal Hajran judicial system. For Tris, he was sympathetic to her mishandling from her family and tried to let her know that he would not abandon her.

At Winding Circle, when each of the four were deemed unsuitable for life in the regular dormitories, he was with all of them when he decided to have them transferred to Discipline, a cottage run by Lark and Rosethorn for young mages.


"Master and student", artwork by Minuiko

He expected to stay at the temple for just a short while, enough to know that they were comfortably situated where they would be happy. He did teach them meditation, but did not tell them why they needed to learn it. He became the primary teacher for Tris, as there were no other weather mages available to teach her. As the laws of Winding Circle and Lightsbridge dictated that the discovering mage must teach the beginner mage until someone of like power is discovered, Niko did his duty for Tris.

While he was staying at Winding Circle, Niko had an affair with Moonstream, the Dedicate Superior[9].

During the blue pox epidemic of 1036 KF Niko looked tired, which probably originated from lack of sleep and his efforts to help best he could.[10] Together with Tris he cast a spell that let them see the past. That's how they found out where the sickness came from.


After Tris received her mages' medallion, they traveled south to give Tris more knowledge about magics abroad and other practices. They went to Tharios so Niko could participate in a conference at Heskalifos, a world renowned university in the city-state. Niko warned Tris that she would find some of the customs barbaric—like the caste system. They stayed in a very wealthy part of the city with Niko's old friend Jumshida Dawnspeaker, another mage. A group of mages were planning to write a book about sight magics.

Trouble began to arise when a mysterious serial killer known as The Ghost started leaving the corpses of his victims in high-profile places around the city. Niko was incensed to learn that he would be unable to trace the serial killings using his magic, as the priests of the All-Seeing, the powerful god of Tharios, both physically and magically cleansed the site of death, as the Tharians believed the taint of death would curse all it touched. This made Niko useless for the investigation. He did lend a hand to his student after Tris called him to one of the arurimati[11] where Demakos Nomasdina was holding Kethlun Warder. Jumshida questioned Keth while Niko used his sight magic to see if the man was lying.

A Picture of Niko From The Japanese Edition of Sandry's Book

He also pushed Tris to do her duty and teach Keth when it became clear that the man had lightning and glass magic, a recent development in his life. Niko recognized that Glakisa Irakory had academic magic immediately upon meeting her.

Physical description

Niko is described as being lean. He has bony hands[12]. He has black eyes, set deep under thick black brows and a heavy fringe of black lashes. In 1035 KF his long hair is black but already streaked with silver, which he wears tied back.[13] The following year his hair has the color of steel[14], although his brows are still black[15]. He has a craggy nose[15] and a craggy and lined face[15] and a bushy salt-and-pepper mustache.[16] Niko is five foot and ten inches (5'10") tall[17]. He normally pays great attention to his clothes, making sure they are spotless and without wrinkles[18]. Whenever he had seen dangerous events in the future his face showed clearly his worry.[15]

Personality and traits

"He has a cat's good manners."
—Tris in her thoughts refering to Niko[src]

Niko is finicky with his clothing, tableware and bedding, but also knows when it is more important to do his work. When Tris whines at him at the prospect of following a trail in the sewers he snaps at her. According to an amused Lark, Niko also avoids work that he doesn't want to do. At the end of the Circle of Magic quartet, Niko confesses to the four young mages that he expected to find them and leave them at Winding Circle. Instead he is forced to reexamine his ideas about magic, having shared their experiences through an earthquake, pirate attack, forest fire, and epidemic.

Magical abilities

"His magic has to do with seeing things, all kinds of things."
—Tris on her teacher's magic[src]

Niko took his mage name "Goldeye" because his specialty is finding things and people. He can see things hidden to most people but even he had to look deeply into Sandry, Tris, Daja and Briar to see their power. Their magic was for ordinary, workaday things (thread, weather, metal and plants) and had escaped discovery by everyone else. But Niko can not only see things himself, he can also make things appear other than they are to people. Thus he hid part of Daja's living metal creation, which had sprouted roots and found a new copper vein in Gold Ridge, near Dalburz Glacier, until Lady Inoulia could be informed by making it appear to be a much larger, real tree[19]. Briar notes when they first meet that Niko wears power like a cloak. The first time Niko teaches Tris to meditate, she opens her eyes and sees him as a blinding white radiance. Niko uses crystal scrying to foresee the future. He can also act as a Truthsayer which is a well-paid position. Truthsayer wages are even higher than the fine for cruelty to animals (a month's income for a craftsman).

However, even Niko's power isn't endless and certain spells drain him. Thus he needs to tap into Tris' powers sometimes like when he was using a time spell on the ruins of Bit Island or when he was following a trail that lead them to the place where a plague-like epidemic, the blue pox, originated. Niko can't douse large fires, either[20]. His power has no connection to heat or lava, enabling his magical self to pass through lava without taking any harm by it[21]. Even his ability to see future events has its restrictions, because Niko often sees possibilities. With many events he foresees he can't say if they will actually take place, or when and where they will take place.[22]

In addition to seeing magic, he has qualifications in glass-making and star magic as well as teaching magic.[23]



Niko has a good relationship with his student, Tris, and has become a sort of foster father for her. He shares her eagerness for magic and learning new things, and they are well-matched. They both share the same interests in magical duties, such as teaching, and caring for magical workings.


Notes and references

  1. Mentioned in The Will of the Empress
  2. Briar's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 128; Scholastic paperback)
  3. Sandry's Book
  4. Tris's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 27; Scholastic paperback)
  5. Sandry's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 33; Scholastic paperback)
  6. Sandry's Book, Cp. 5 (p. 86; Scholastic paperback)
  7. Sandry's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 34; Scholastic paperback)
  8. Sandry's Book, Cp. 1 (p. 18; Scholastic paperback)
  9. Quasi-canon. This was supposed to be mentioned in Tris's Book but was cut because it would have made the book too long (Broken link, looking for other sources
  10. Briar's Book, Cp. 6 (p. 104; Scholastic paperback)
  11. noun. Police station
  12. Briar's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 25; Scholastic paperback)
  13. Sandry's Book, Cp. 1 (p. 8; Scholastic paperback)
  14. Briar's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 21; Scholastic paperback)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Briar's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 22; Scholastic paperback)
  16. Daja's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 37; Scholastic paperback)
  17. Sandry's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 50; Scholastic paperback)
  18. Tris's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 19; Scholastic paperback)
  19. Daja's Book, Cp. 8 (p. 143/144; Scholastic paperback)
  20. Daja's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 58; Scholastic paperback)
  21. Daja's Book, Cp. 10 (p. 177; Scholastic paperback)
  22. Briar's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 33; Scholastic paperback)
  23. Shatterglass, Cp. 2 (p. 46; Scholastic paperback)

See also