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Any crit on how I'm playing Vanyel? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Want to plot something? 

Let me know here ~ 
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In the interest of keeping a "New Year's Resolution", as they are called, Yfandes has convinced me to go into town and pick her up some sweets. Now, I love Yfandes, but even she admits she loves sweets a bit to much and it has lead her to become a bit to big for her saddle girth at times. So, in the interest of helping her in her own Resolution, I have hidden the sweets I bought around the grounds in small, red cloths, buried beneath the snow or hidden in spaces. If you find them before she does, you are free to have them.

[He won't tell you what's in them, but mostly they are hard candies or apples he wished up - things the can handle the cold, but are protected in those little red cloths.]

If you come and find me, down at the stables, I just might give you hints to where the best are hidden.

[In the background, as he talks, you can hear a somewhat irritated, perhaps even shrill, neigh and the stamp of a hoof, followed by a laugh from Vanyel and an indignant horsey snort.]

I wish you all good luck. Again, I will be in the barn if you want any hints.

[And if you do come to the barn, he's sitting outside of Yfandes' box stall today, sitting on his equipment trunk, working on her saddle and bridle kit, polishing the silver and making sure the leather is kept supple in this cold weather]
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CHARACTER NAME: Vanyel Ashkevron “Demonslayer”
FANDOM: The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy (by Mercedes Lackey in her Valdemar series)
CANON: Between the end of Magic’s Promise and the beginning of Magic’s Price
WHAT THEY LOST: Vanyel can no longer play any instrument. This means he looses the ability to use his Bardic gift (he can still sign, but that was never his main passion)

ABOUT THE CHARACTER: Vanyel is the oldest son of the lord and lady of Forest Reach – Within Ashkevron and Teresa Ashkevron. However, from a young age he has always been different. Thin versus thick, and more effeminate. He is stated as playing with dolls as a boy in the nursery, and was the pet of his mother. A traveling minstrel sparked his interest in music, which his mother encouraged by having him play for her and her ladies in waiting, and he wanted nothing more than to become a Bard for the Kingdom of Valdemar. However, his father could not abide this, and tried to counter Teresa’s cosseting of Vanyel by having the master at arms, Jervis, train Vanyel in swordplay. Vanyel saw Jervis’ training as abuse, often trying to avoid it when he could, and due to increasing isolation and misunderstanding from his family, he creates a hard, cynic, even depressive shell of emotion around himself to avoid being hurt more than he already has been. His only ally in an increasingly harsh relationship with his family was his sister, Lissa, whom he loves and shares a gentle bond with. She taught him a different from of the bashing style Jervis taught. Vanyel used this style in a spar against Jervis, which enraged the man, and resulted in Jervis breaking Vanyel’s shield arm.

Vanyel withdraws further during his recovery from his injury, and in a last ditch attempt to ‘make him a man’, Vanyel’s father sends Vanyel to Haven to be tutored by his Herald-Mage aunt, Savil. Vanyel goes only with the hope that it is an escape from his father, but arrives with the same sort of bitterness he views the rest of his life and the people around him with. He begins to have nightmares concerning himself and an ice world, which he comes to view as a safe haven where he cannot feel and cannot be touched. It is a personification of his intense emotional withdrawal from people, which is pushing him even deeper into depression. He sinks further into this depression when he learns that the gift he so hoped he had, the Bardic gift, was not strong enough to make him a bard, thereby crushing his dreams. During his stay he meets his aunt’s protégé and Herald-Mage trainee, Tylendel. Tylendel attempts to draw Vanyel out of his depression, and after many tense attempts catches Vanyel awake from a nightmare, and helps Vaneyl realized what the dream means and that night helps Vanyel discover that he is attracted men – what his aunt calls being shay’achern (or shaych, for short). Vanyel becomes highly emotionally dependent on Tylendel from that point on, and it is discovered that they are a lifebonded pair, a intense, deep spiritual connection that makes them nearly “one”.

His relationship with Tylendel helps to melt some of his icy shield and he begins to make friends and headway in his life, but tragedy strikes and Tylendel commits suicide after being repudiated by his Companion. Vanyel had helped him attempt to take revenge on the killer of Tylendel’s twin, and in Tylendel’s death, a magical gate he helped his beloved form back-lashed and blasted open ‘channels’ or power within Vanyel. In this instant he is immediately Chosen by the Companion Yfandes, who is the single reason he did not go insane and destroy himself when the channels were initially blasted open. However, she cannot save Vanyel from the emotional trauma of loosing his lifebonded, and Vanyel nearly suicides twice, the second time because of the intense belief that it was his fault Tylendel died. With his power near out of control and able to do great destruction, his Aunt takes Vanyel to the Tayledras to meet two of her friends, who are also involved in a homosexual relationship.

There Vanyel begins the process of both learning to control his power, heal his body, and his mind. He comes to accept himself and his sexuality, and accepts that he is Chosen and thereby a Herald. He now understands the intense need to help people with his power that cannot help themselves against danger, and ultimately makes the choice that though he longs to join Tylendel, he cannot because others need him.

In the intervening years, Vanyel grows to become the most powerful Herald-Mages in Valdemar, second to none in power, and second only in authority to the King’s Own. He is also the father of three children – “King Randale’s” child Jessa, and twins to the k’Treva pair (and the carrying mother) that helped him learn to control his powers and tap the magical nodes of power that run through the earth. He is not, however, active in their parenting, and is seen as an ‘Uncle’ by Jessa (she does not know he is her father, nor does anyone else). He has become a mature man of 28, but still retains much of the emotional trauma of his early years, and is almost depressively cynical. He is consistently withdrawn, refusing to let anybody to near to him, and runs along a singular line of depression over the inability of others to accept both his sexuality as well as his intense power, which he comes to realizes terrifies people. He finds himself increasingly isolated as more of his friends die, and becomes confused over his own sexuality through knowing the lifebonded pair King Randi and King’s Own Shavri. He finds some joy and light in his life through helping his illegitimate nephew Medren find a way out of the life on his father’s keep and to the Bardic Collegium, recognizing the other’s intense talent and gift – one he had wanted so badly, but never had. It is while at his father’s keep that Vanyel is called to help a newly Chosen young man, young Prince Tashir of a neighboring kingdom, who is being accused of a terribly murder, and who looks terribly like Tylendel, his lost love. During this adventure, it is oddly enough this boy who helps Vanyel begin to come to terms with the death of his lifebonded, and so rather than continuously mourn his lover and the pain that was left, he came to realize he should cherish the short summer they had together and the fond memories he had of him. Thus began the healing of a wound that had plagued him for years and been a horrible pain in his very soul. Through several misadventures, Vanyel manages to get to the heart of the murders, clearing Tashir of all fault, and ultimately killing the boys Uncle – who was responsible for the murders, and achieving a newfound peace between Valdemar and Tashir’s country. It is also around this time that Vanyel discovers he is not wanting Shavri sexually, but rather needs her because he loves her and Randi as friends who he has let into his life more than he has anyone else besides Savil in many, many years.

Overall Vanyel tends to suggest a rather icy personality (the best way to describe it is the ‘Ice Queen’ attitude). He rarely lets people deeply into his life, even to the point where he has few real friends for fear they will become targets due to his extreme power. This is not an act of arrogance, but rather an act of fact and worry over the people around him, because he is a target and growing increasingly so as the Herald-Mage population dwindles. He is also terribly cynical, usually jumping to the darker conclusions in a situation than the bright, and for good reason since much of his life has not been kind to him, and only recently have many of his emotional scars from years past begun to heal. At the same time, he tends to think to much of other’s opinions of him, ranging from if he has scared them with his power, to if people are simply being nice to him because of his power (he very much dislikes being treated differently than other Heralds, but has poorly resigned himself to the reality of this). To those who know him well, he is a caring individual who is always concerned more for his friends than himself, but does still tend to retain some of his ‘peacock’ attitudes from his youth (that is, he likes to dress nice and does enjoy some of the nicer things in life). He is still painfully aware of the fact people are scared of him because of his powers, and this pains him, and he takes incredible strides to not overly advertise his attraction to men (even though it is widely known). He does have a tendency to play the game his mother taught him as a child – one of being courtly and suave, and often times unintentionally enchanting young women who then think themselves in love with him because of it. He places a high priority on the safety of his country and is willing to work himself to the bone to ensure that safety.


ABILITIES: Oh Jesus, ready for this?
- Fetching (able to summon and send items over distances and/or levitate them)
- Empathy (able to sense others feelings and also to affect the feelings of others)
- Mindspeech: Thought-sensing and Projecting (able to speak mind to mind with others of this power as well as probe the minds of others, also able to sense the thoughts of none Mindspeakers)
- Gating (able to create magical gates that can allow him to cover vast distances with a single step. Is very draining and difficult and hurts him, so is not often used)
- Firestarting (able to summon flame and dismiss it)
- Healing (able to assist the body in recovering from injuries, but this is not strong)
- Bardic (a strong sense of power through voice and music, but this is not overly strong)
- FarSight(akin to scrying, able to see things happening far away/not in his immediate vicinity)
- ForeSight (premonitions, able to see the future, most commonly in dreams that must then be interpreted)
- Magegift (able to do magic, such as summoning lightning, shielding, etc.)

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Vanyel Ashkevron

April 2015

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