|Start of Reign|
|End of Reign|
|Years of Service|
Magelet (by Numair)
Gallan (by birth)
|Adoptive Children||Skysong (dragon)|
|Assistant Horsemistress (former)|
|Military Branch||Queen's Riders (former)|
|Tortallan Universe character|
|First Appeared||Wild Magic|
|Latest Appearance||The Dragon's Tale|
Veralidaine Salmalín, born Veralidaine Sarrasri (pronounced vehr-AHL-ee-dayn sahl-mah-LEEN/ SAHR-rah-sree) in 436 HE, also known as Daine (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, they may not change back.
Daine was born in the tiny village of Snowsdale in the mountains of Galla in late January of 436 HE. Her mother was Sarra Beneksri, and her father was unknown, leading Daine to take Sarrasri as her last name, meaning "Sarra's Daughter", which showed that she was a bastard child. 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. There was a large death toll, 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, the capital of Galla, she was hired by Onua Chamtong to become Assistant Horsemistress of the Queen's Riders.
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 traveling with Onua, Daine also rescued and befriended the mage Numair Salmalín. He had been drugged while 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 keep her sanity and new friends 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
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 proved useful again helping to negotiate peace with a couple of griffins nesting near the swoop and the villagers. Listening to one of the Badger's advices Daine finally told Onua and Numair of the events in Snowsdale and the sebsequent period of madness. 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.
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.
Daine and Numair helped thwart a rebellion against Tortall in Dunlath in 450 HE, when Daine was fourteen years old. 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, leaving him with no choice but to use one of Rikash Moonsword's feathers (a gift from earlier) to turn himself into a stormwing and giving up the Carthaki throne at the same time.
The Immortals War
In 452 HE the start of the Immortals War, the barriers between the Divine Realms and the Mortal Realms were removed, allowing more divine and immortal creatures to pass through. Fighting Skinners and about to be killed, Daine and Numair were brought to the Divine Realms by Daine's parents. Daine was introduced to her father Weiryn, a minor hunting god, and was reunited with her mother who had turned into a goddess after death. Numair and Daine were forced to journey through the realms in order 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 (platypus) god. Daine also discovered and befriended the darkings Ozorne had sent to spy on them. Daine persuades the dragons to help her leave the Divine Realms, after being carried across a large desert by stormwings. Upon returning to the Mortal Realms Daine and Numair were crucial in relieving Port Legann of the 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 beings returning to the Divine Realms.
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. Later 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. She gave birth to a baby girl, Sarralyn Salmalín, in May of 462 HE. Her second child, Rikash Salmalín was born not two years later, probably in the second half of 463 HE.
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.
Skills and Abilites
Daine is skilled in the use of both crossbow and longbow, and is able to shoot perfect targets from quite far away. It was her primary weapon before using her magic, and she used it to slay Immortals such as Zhaneh Bitterclaws, as well as human adversaries. In a competition, she beat Prince Kaddar and other Carthaki aristocrats in an archery match.
She teaches archery to the trainees of the Queen's Riders. Her skills with a bow are often compared to Alanna the Lioness's skills with a sword.
Along with her skills as an archer, Daine is an expert tracker and is well-versed in wilderness survival.
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 dislikes using 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.
Romance and Family
Daine had several admirers during her first several years in Tortall (age 13-16), but she never took any of them very seriously. The only one of these relationships that came close to a meaningful romance was the close friendship she developed with Kaddar Iliniat during her stay in Carthak. The then-Prince showed enough interest in Daine that he caused quite a bit of jealousy from Numair, who had yet to admit that his feelings for Daine were becoming romantic. Kaddar and Daine never entered a romantic relationship, but likely stayed in contact as friends.
Although at first Daine and Numair maintained a strictly platonic teacher-pupil relationship, the two developed romantic feelings when their lessons ended and they started working together as equals. They became lovers in 452 HE and started living together. Numair was initially worried about the age gap between them, but after Daine convinced him to start a relationship, he soon proposed marriage. (Tamora Pierce has stated that this age gap was realistic for a medieval setting, but also acknowledged that some readers find it distasteful. ) Daine was reluctant to get married (partially because of her history as a child born out of wedlock) but the two were finally married nine years later just before the birth of their first child, Sarralyn. Their second child, Rikash, is born in 463 HE.
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 is Daine's pony and her 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 shows in the fact that Cloud even stayed with her when she was living among the wolves.
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.
Weiryn has fathered many other children. His most recent child before Daine was over 130 years earlier. His other lovers and children are rarely mentioned, and it is unknown whether he doted upon any of his grandchildren before Daine's children. While Daine harbored some resentment towards Weiryn for being absent from most of her life, he has always watched over Daine in his own way. His love for Sarra makes him care deeply for Daine, and he is easily angered when Daine's life is endangered.
Daine's mother, and Weiryn's Consort, she conceived Daine during Beltane, a fertility festival. Sarra was originally a mortal, descended from a long line of hedgewitches. She had the Gift and used it for healing, and could never hide her disappointment that Daine was non-Gifted.
After dying in a bandit raid, Sarra's beloved god Weiryn made a deal with the Black God for her to grant her a position among the gods. She now presides over love, healing, and childbirth as a minor Goddess called the Green Lady.
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 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.
She was Daine's first friend in Tortall. She met Daine at a fair in Cría, 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 Salmalín.
Benek Todorsra ┬ ? │ Sarra Beneksri ┬ Weiryn │ Veralidaine Sarrasri ┬ Numair Salmalín │ ┌——————————————————┴————————————————┐ Sarralyn Salmalín Rikash Salmalín
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.
- The Immortals
- Protector of the Small (minor character)
- Daughter of the Lioness
Notes and references
- Tortallan timeline
- First Test, Cp. 5 (p. 96; Random House paperback)
- Random Buzz; "Yuki and 'labor and delivery' in Tortall."; April 20, 2009
- Page, Chp 1. (Kel is five foot three; later in the chapter Daine is described as three inches taller.)
- Lady Knight, Chp 8