Verrain sen Dient

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Verrain sen Dient is a master spellbinder who was trained by Luhaine. He is described as a large, lanky man with black eyes, and a rust-colored cloak. His lank, feathered blond hair is tied by velvet ribbons run through a dandy's collar several centuries out of fashion. He is longevity-trained and was once a ladies' man (over six centuries ago) from Daenfal[1].

Verrain is sometimes referred to as the "Guardian of Mirthlvain".

History

When the Fellowship became shorthanded after the rebellion, he took responsibility for keeping watch on Mirthlvain Swamp from Meth Isle Keep. The complete details of this event are captured in The Gallant.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.

The Gallant

Third Age 4995: Under an oath of debt to the Koriathain, a cousin of Verrain arranges for Verrain and the sen Dient business interests to be discredited. He receives a packet of mixed tienelle and bane root, and instructions on how to sent events into play.

Verrain is attending a ball when the oathsworn cousin insults his dance partner, Lisianne. He challenges his cousin to a duel in defense of Lisya's honor and proceeds with his evening in spite of the insult. After an unexpected tryst in her carriage, Lisianne tries again to warn Verrain to call off the duel but he insists on proceeding. The duel is over in three strokes with Verrain the easy victor. He and his cousin retire to the wine shop (where Lisianne is observing from the shadows) for the traditional pledge of amity. The cousin asks Maefe for a bottle of Carithwyr red and refuses to explain the reasons behind his actions until Verrain has taken a drink.

The poisoned wine affects Verrain immediately. Through Lisianne's quick actions, her guardsmen detain the involved cousin and get Verrain away to the palace before he can reveal any trade secrets. Deducing a Koriani conspiracy to undermine crown rule by damaging the sen Dient reputation for discretion, Adlaize s'Ahelas decides that Verrain would be safest in the custody of free wilds clansmen, who can either heal him or deliver him to Ath's Adepts in Forthmark. Realizing that Lisianne is in love, he does not argue her decision to accompany Verrain.

The next morning, Verrain and Lisianne travel with a scheduled outbound dispatch received by Edlie s'Daltier. The clan scout guides them towards the Ippash clan encampment with plans to continue on alone into Vastmark. Lisianne tolerates the pair of guardsmen who do not understand Verrain's affliction. Verrain shows his awareness of the fight against the Mistwraith, in spite of the fact that even Adlaize s'Ahelas was unaware of the nature of the threat. He attacks one of the goading guardsmen until Edlie is able to calm him down.

Verrain wakes Lisianne in a panic in the night. While they hide in an oak tree, the rest of their traveling party is slaughtered. They overhear a conversation between a tracker and a league assassin revealing that Lisianne is to be killed, with Verrain left alive to discredit his family. Lisianne resolves to flee through the free wilds in hopes of reaching Ganish.

Verrain's broadened senses can detect when they have crossed into the free wilds. When Lisianne is threatened by the impact of Paravian presence, he protects her through the physical act of love. The pair are rescued by clansmen when a centaur guardian challenges their trespass in the free wilds, and they are moved to safety in the face of a migrating Riathan herd. Verrain does not regain consciousness in the aftermath. A clan elder recommends sending Verrain on to Ath's Adepts to help him reach death whole, as his mind has drifted too far between the poison and the Paravian exposure. Lisianne refuses to endorse his death and is assigned the role of his keeper instead.

After twenty-one days under Lisianne's care, Verrain recovers his voice and some mobility, but not his senses. In autumn, Verrain's first coherent words mourn the loss of Lisianne's unborn daughter, a day before she has a miscarriage. The clan healer states that children conceived near Paravian presence rarely have the strength to survive. Verrain reveals that he can see their daughter whole in spirit beyond the veil, and then warns of the Mistwraith's invasion to the south, and other dangers within Mirthlvain Swamp. The next morning, Verrain goes missing. The clan elders assign Sethant to track him down before he encounters Riathan Paravians and Lisianne insists on accompanying him.

The tracker picks up Verrain's trail heading directly north without any signs of his normal meandering. After securing post horses, Sethant and Lisianne discover Verrain blocking traffic on the trade road to Ganish. He warns a caravan that methspawn are migrating south from Mirthlvain Swamp. Sethant uses his authority as a clan scout to turn the caravan back east towards Atchaz. He keeps Verrain by his side in case his rogue Sight can help protect Ganish. Verrain pledges to return to Lisianne's side before she departs with the caravan.

Enroute to the beacon tower, Verrain suddenly tries to turn around and pursue Lisianne. Sethant is forced to restrain him at first, and then knocks him unconscious when Verrain's distress might attract methspawn. Inside the beacon tower nearest to Ganish, Sethant discovers that the sentry has been felled by cierl-ankeshed venom from a quetzal attack. To reach Ganish in person in time, Sethant seals Verrain inside of the beacon tower with a promise to return if possible.

Verrain's warning gives Ganish time to mobilize defenses. The town is attacked by methspawn throughout the night until barrier wards raised by centaurs and a Fellowship Sorcerer repel them before dawn. When Sethant returns, Verrain insists that it is too late. They soon come upon the site where the caravan was attacked by methspawn and find Lisianne's body in a venom-induced coma. Sethant gives her a merciful death while Verrain weeps, and they discover that she was able to protect a small child. Verrain slips back into catatonia while Sethant tends to the fallen and returns the toddler to the caravan's outriders.

Sethant builds Lisianne's funeral pyre and stands vigil, and then spends the next month transporting Verrain to Ath's Adepts at Forthmark. An initiate tells him that Verrain's spirit is entwined with Lisianne's and Verrain cannot be healed. She offers to restore Verrain's free will through the Sacred Grove. Sethant offers to stand vigil until his death, but the initiate rejects his service. In the Sacred Grove, Verrain is met by a marmalade tomcat from Lisianne's library and then Lisianne herself. She invites him to cross over into death, but he does not accept. Instead, he cries out for answers as to why Mirthlvain Swamp was left unguarded. The strength of Verrain's convictions drains the power from this hostel and reforges his true Name and brings him to Methisle Fortress, along with the orange cat. Driven to protect others from emergent methspawn, Verrain formally requests a spellbinder's apprenticeship from Luhaine and pledges to stand in defense as the Guardian of Mirthlvain.

A centaur erects a monument stone in Lisianne's memory east of Ganish. Every autumn, Verrain visits the monument and leaves behind a small gift.

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5637: Verrain discovers the presence of poisonous meth-snakes which forces the Fellowship to divert their attentions from the West Gate Prophecy. During the extermination of these snakes, Verrain collapses from exhaustion after maintaining a link between the Third Lane and the Fifth Lane.

Third Age 5638: At the end of the story, Verrain is seen managing the fall spawning of meth-snakes with the help of Asandir and Dakar.

Ships of Merior

Third Age 5645: Verrain reappears in the story on the Vernal Equinox. The Fellowship convocation is held at Methisle Fortress, although this year, the meth-snakes are quiescent. Sethvir and Asandir cast strands to study the methuri of the past, using Verrain in a tienelle trance as a bridge. The author has stated that this was not a mandatory service:

"...as master spellbinder, is in SERVICE to the Fellowship - as Guardian of Methisle, a voluntary post to offer to help them out (they are spread too thin) in this respect, he is still learning. Likely he was involved with that exploration to observe all he could - as nuance and layers of knowledge beyond his access were brought forward. Therefore he stayed open to all he could experience.[2]

Next, the Fellowship revisits the exact moment of possesion, raising an image of Arithon's personal signature over Meth Isle Fortress, intefering with a Koriani probe. Although it prevents the Koriathain from discovering Arithon's whereabouts, it reveals his personal Name pattern and the fact that he had drunk from the Five Centuries Fountain.

Third Age 5646: Verrain is again curbing a resurgence of meth-snakes on the summer solstice.

Grand Conspiracy

Third Age 5669: Luhaine is assisting Verrain at Meth Isle Fortress when a Koriani plot involving Fionn Areth begins. During Morriel's attack on Athera, Kharadmon joins Verrain to deal with newly awakened methspawn.

Peril's Gate

Third Age 5670: Verrain helps Kharadmon to stabilize the damaged Fifth Lane after Morriel's attack on Athera. He notes that the harsh winter caused by the attack will give him time to mend the stopgap wards on the barrier walls around the swamp and its methspawn. When Arithon binds the the Lanes of Rathain together in harmony, the unnatural winter ends prematurely, forcing Verrain to scramble to contain the methspawn. He is unable to join Kharadmon and Luhaine at Rockfell Pit but is soon joined by Asandir.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5671: Verrain hosts Princess Ellaine and Ianfar s'Gannley during the winter, as the pair travels overland to seek sanctuary with Ath's Adepts in Spire. When Traithe is delayed in his overland journey and the stay becomes longer, Ianfar and Ellaine assist Verrain with the spring inventory of methspawn. Verrain says goodbye to Ellaine when Kharadmon sends her on to Ath's Adepts by means of the focus circle in the cellar. Verrain and Kharadmon work to stem the seasonal migration of methuri. Kharadmon must depart when a Koriani trap to enslave an unborn heir of Arithon's is revealed.

Stormed Fortress

Third Age 5671: Verrain is told to expect Mearn and Fianzia's arrival after they flee the Siege of Alestron.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5923: While Selidie Prime coordinates a final trap for Arithon in Lanshire, Verrain and Asandir tackle a crisis at Meth Isle Fortress.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5924: Kharadmon assists Verrain in Mirthlvain Swamp during the True Sect campaign in Rathain.

References

  1. Several glossaries lists Daenfal as the city where Verrain's reputation existed, in conflict with the setting of The Gallant.
  2. Email with Janny Wurts, March 28, 2009