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Yolane

Veralidaine Sarrasri

Veralidaine Sarrasri, also known simply as Daine, is the main character of the Tamora Pierce fantasy series The Immortals and also makes several cameo appearances in Protector of the Small and Daughter of the Lioness. She has the unique ability to communicate with animals telepathically as well as being able to heal them and even shapeshift to become one. Her main companions throughout The Immortals are her steel-grey, stubborn (and quick-to-bite) mare Cloud, and teacher (later on lover) Numair Salmalín.

Appearance

Daine is described as having blue-grey eyes and curly, smokey-brown hair. Daine is noted for a full mouth that "said she was vulnerable" and a chin that was "entirely stubborn," which come to be fairly good indicators of her personality. She stood out in her hometown, which was mostly populated by people who were blond-haired and blue-eyed. She is 13 at the beginning of Wild Magic and is 16 by the end of the quartet.

Early life

Daine was born in the northern country of Galla in the small village of Snowsdale, where she lived on a farm with her mother Sarra Beneksri and grandfather, as well as many animals including poultry and other livestock. Daine was an illegitimate child whose father was unknown (as indicated by her patronymic being her mother's name when it would usually be that of her father) and questioned her mother repeatedly about his identity. The most information Daine would receive during her mother's lifetime was that she had met him on Beltane and that he had not been married. It is revealed later in the series that Daine's father is actually a god. Her mother was a hedgewitch, as is every other girl in her family, knowing only rudimentary magic that had been taught to her by other hedge witches, and she hoped that Daine would develop the Gift by repeatedly testing her, though her tests continually came back negative. Upon Sarra's death, she was admitted as the Green Lady, a goddess of childbirth and healing for the northern regions, in the realm of the gods.

In January of Daine's 13th year, she and Cloud the mare were sent on an errand to bring medicine to her mother's friend in the next valley over and ended up staying for a day. Upon her return she discovered that her home had been raided by bandits, who had killed everyone except for the boss guard dog Mammoth, who told Daine what had happened before he died. Daine and Cloud buried everyone and salvaged what they could, though it was two days before anyone from the village came. Upon seeing them Daine lost her mental balance and began throwing rocks at them, she and Cloud joined with a pack of wolves who lived in the area to hunt the bandits by picking them off one by one at their hideout. At this point Daine was unable to speak with Cloud and was running on all fours, believing herself to be one of the pack, though she kept her pony safe from the wolves. Fearful members of Daine's village found her and attempted to trick her into surrendering so she could be killed, before setting dogs on her trail. They quickly discovered that the hounds refused to hunt her and their horses bucked them. She managed to escape with Cloud onto the road and make her way to Cria, the capitol of Galla, where she met Onua Chamtong, horse mistress for the Queen's Riders in Tortall.

The Immortals

Wild Magic

Upon being hired by Onua Chamtong, of the K'mir Raadeh, who sensed the girl's supernatural affinity with animals, Daine accompanies her to Tortall to deliver the ponies required by the Riders. She is visited in her dreams by a mysterious badger who gives her one of his claws, which she finds upon waking and weaves into a necklace. On the road to Tortall the two women see several Stormwings, huge metal birds with human heads and chests, and razor-sharp feathers, pursuing a large, strangely colored hawk into the forest. After rescuing the bird, whom Onua seems to believe is of great importance, Alanna of Trebond arrives and after having Daine "call" him mentally, she realizes the bird is actually a human named Numair Salmalín, a powerful mage who was on a spying mission before being captured and drugged. The group continues to Corus, the capital of Tortall, where she is introduced to the King and Queen and under Numair's tutelage begins to develop her abilities to communicate with animals, something Numair calls "wild magic", though she is initially apprehensive and worries that she will go mad again, something Numair helps her reconcile by separating her human and animal selves magically. While helping defend Alanna's home of Pirate's Swoop against a joined Stormwing and pirate invasion, she meets a dragon, who before her untimely death at the hands of the raiders, entrusts Daine with the care of her infant daughter Skysong (also known as Kitten) whom Daine raises as her own after inadvertently healing the infant as she was dead in her mother's womb.

Wolf-Speaker

In the second book of The Immortals quartet, Daine is summoned to the Long Lake region of Tortall by its wolf pack, who had formerly lived near her childhood home in Snowsdale, Galla. These are the same wolves who helped Daine hunt the bandits who killed her family, as described in Wild Magic. The pack, led by Brokefang, have asked Daine to intercede on their behalf with the humans of Long Lake, in an area called Dunlath. The humans are mining and foresting throughout the region, scaring off game and polluting the lake. In trying to help the Pack, Daine and her teacher, Numair Salmalín, stumble into a treasonous plot. The Lady of Dunlath, Yolane, with the assistance of the Emperor of Carthak, a Carthaki war mage named Tristan Staghorn, and his fellow Carthaki mages, attempts to overthrow King Jonathan. Daine and Numair, with help from Alanna the Lioness, the King's Own, and the Queen's Riders, defeat the rebels and save Dunlath.

In this book, Daine gradually discovers her ability to shape shift. She has contact with several ogres, Stormwings, hurroks (horse-hawks), two Coldfangs, and a basilisk named Tkaa. The Stormwing Lord Rikash Moonsword, who plays an important role in later books, is also introduced. She also makes an ally of ten-year-old Maura of Dunlath, Yolane's half-sister.

Emperor Mage

In the third book of the series, Daine travels with Numair to Carthak on a political mission, but soon finds herself caught in a power struggle between the Graveyard Hag, Carthak's patron goddess, and the Emperor Ozorne. Here she learns of the history between the Emperor and Numair, and the reasons for Numair's flight to Tortall. Believing Numair to have been executed, Daine resurrects several dinosaur skeletons in a rage using an ability given to her by the Graveyard Hag, and destroys Ozorne's palace. She again meets Rikash Moonsword, and the two become allies against Ozorne because of their common opposition to the Emperor's plans. Numair is eventually revealed to be alive (the person who was executed was actually a simulacrum hidden by Numair's acquaintance Lindhall Reed) though Ozorne escapes after being transformed into a Stormwing.The Graveyard Hag then takes back the ability to resurrect the dead.

The Realms of the Gods

In the fourth book, Numair and Daine are transported to the Divine Realms while Tortall is facing invasion from the combined forces of the Copper Isles, Scanra, and Ozorne, the former emperor of Carthak, now turned into a Stormwing. Though Ozorne was forced to relinquish his mortal throne and magical Gift, he quickly masters the Stormwing's own form of magic and raises an army of immortals to spearhead the attack on Tortall. Once Numair and Daine recover from their cross-realm journey, it is revealed that Daine's father is the horned God of the Hunt, Weiryn, and that her mother Sarra has ascended into a minor healing goddess known as the Green Lady (centered in Galla) after her death. The badger god along with a few new allies, including the God of Dreams, assist Daine during her time here.

Knowing that Tortall depends on Numair's and her own abilities, especially during this pivotal time, Daine and Numair search for a way home. They ultimately decide to trek across the Realm to the Dragonlands, to petition the relatives of Skysong (aka Kitten), a young dragon Daine has been caring for, for passage back to the Mortal Plain. On the way, it becomes apparent that Ozorne has allied himself with Queen of Chaos, whom the Great Gods themselves battle daily to contain. Feeding off one another's actions and powers, the alignment threatens all the realms with ultimate chaos. Feeling ever the more rushed, Daine and Numair push to return to Tortall. On the way to meet the dragons, Daine finds a creature called a Darking, a black, shapless blob the sometimes has something in it, like a leaf. The two eventually make it back to in time sway the Battle of Port Legann.

With the help of Dragons, a Yamani fleet, and other Immortals, Tortall defends the Port. Numair takes out the most powerful mage from Scanra and Daine slays Ozorne after a vicious battle, with a slash to the throat using the claw given to her in Wild Magic by the Badger god. With Ozorne slain, the Queen of Chaos is pulled into the open, and is swept up by the Great Gods for punishment. Daine is given a choice to become a Minor Goddess and dwell in the Divine Realm or return to Tortall and a mortal life. She chooses to return to her friends, where she is needed, despite her wish to be with her parents. During these adventures, she became friends with Lord Rikash, a Stormwing who first appeared in Wolf Speaker. With his death during the Battle, Daine realizes her friendship with him and later speaks for the right of the Stormwings to stay in the Mortal Realm. The gods decree that all the immortal creatures that came into Tortall, and the other countries, before the Midwinter Festival can stay, while the rest are sent back to the DIvine Realms.

Daine and Numair acknowledged their mutual feelings for each other despite their age difference (Daine is sixteen in this book while Numair is thirty) while in the Divine Realms.

Other appearances

Daine briefly appears in Protector of the Small in the first book, First Test, as she helps Keladry of Mindelan communicate with her stubborn horse, Peachblossom. Daine softens Peachblossom's mouth so that he is easier to ride and teaches Kel a few verbal commands. Via Daine, Peachblossom agrees to be Kel's warhorse, as long as she promises not to use spurs. Nealan of Queenscove has a crush on Daine, which is mentioned in passing several times throughout the Protector of the Small series. Daine and Numair are not yet married in First Test, although they are shown to live together.

Daine also appears in Protector of the Small in the second book, Page, as Kel requests her help with the stray dog, Jump, and in the third book, Squire, as she helps Kel communicate with the baby griffin the girl rescues. Daine searches for the baby griffin's parents as Kel attempts to care for him.

Daine's final appearance in the Protector of the Small series is in book four, Lady Knight, when she comes to Kel's refugee camp to help the defenses. Daine raises the intelligence of the camp's animals to near human in an entire day's worth of work, to help assist the defenders as scouts or fighters if necessary. Numair discusses his concern for her safety during the war and it is revealed that he magically places a safe exit for the animals to flee if needed, as per Daine's request.

Several passing references are made to "The Wild Mage" in the Protector of the Small series, particularly in reference to the battle at Port Legann at the end of the Immortals War. This battle is featured in The Realms of the Gods, the fourth book of The Immortals quartet.

Daine is also a foster aunt to Alianne of Pirate's Swoop, the main character of the Daughter of the Lioness series. Daine is mentioned throughout the duology, and appears once in visions Aly is given during her stay in the Copper Isles. In it, it is shown that she and Numair are now married and the parents of two children, Sarralyn and Rikash, named after her mother and the Stormwing she befriended in Emperor Mage, respectively. Both children possess abilities similar to their mother, and Sarralyn in particular enjoys using her shapeshifting abilities a bit too much until she is scolded by her grandmother.

Abilities

Along with her ability to communicate with animals ranging from small birds to sea lions Daine also possesses healing abilities, first used unconsciously after Stormwings kill and maim several birds in front of her in a marsh. She has an uncanny ability to detect the presence of Immortals (including Stormwings), which proves invaluable after the creatures' sudden reappearance. She later develops shapeshifting abilities that allow her to transform into an animal, and when necessary, form a voicebox to allow her to communicate. She is also repeatedly noted as being an ace shot with both a long bow and a crossbow, and claims it was because she was taught by her late grandfather, but it's more likely that this was a hereditary trait passed on by her father, the god of the hunt, Weiryn.

She has also shown the ability to both voluntarily and involuntarily create long term changes in animals' ability to think and act more like humans. After meeting her teacher and relating to him and her other friends how she left her village, Numair realized that Daine's blood, if consumed by an animal, would effect them. This is evidenced by Cloud's behavior throughout the book brought about by her nipping at Daine's hands to force her to return to walking upright after she had gone wild seeking revenge against the bandits who had killed her family. The leader of the wolf pack that Daine joined also exhibited such behaviors as greater awareness of the passage of time, consideration of the ways of other animals and a greater ability to plan, like taking tools from woodcutters to halt their work. Though the other wolves exhibited higher levels intelligence and human behavior, Brokefang's difference was more profound due to licking of Daine's wound after fighting the bandits. The pack and the animals in and around the palace of Tortall show that just living in proximity to Daine can have this effect, the longer the duration the greater the effect. The Protector of the Small series showed that Daine by that point had learned to bring about this change quickly and permanently at will, though she was reluctant to do so even when asked by the animals themselves.

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