Early Life[edit | edit source]
Selenay, daughter of King Sendar and Lady Kayla, and Chosen of Caryo, is the primary monarch in the Heralds of Valdemar series. Her mother died when she was a child. As a Heraldic trainee, she was very serious and idealistic. Because it was too dangerous for the heir to the throne to go on a traditional internship in the field, Selenay did hers in the city courts of Haven, where she encountered all the problems she would experience in the royal court, only on a simpler level. Her bodyguard during her internship was Alberich. (Exile's Honor)
Queen of Valdemar[edit | edit source]
Selenay became the new Queen of Valdemar, after her father fell in the last battle with the Tedrels in the year 1376 A.F. (Timeline of Storm Breaking paperback) In that same last battle, her Queen's Own, Talamir, lost his Companion, Taver, and nearly died himself before his new Companion, Rolan, arrived. Ever since, Talamir always seemed like he was only partly in this world. Due to his convalescence, Selenay asked Alberich to be her acting Queen's Own.
In the first year after becoming Queen, Selenay met and fell in love with Prince Karathanelan of Rethwellan. She announced her engagement to him at a royal mask without consulting anyone, especially her Queen's Own, due to the unease they both felt with each other. She also alienated the Heraldic Circle and her Companion with her decision. Although everything was initially blissful, the relationship fell apart as soon as Selenay realized she was pregnant. Late the next winter, she gave birth to a daughter, Elspeth.
Stressed from the estrangement with her husband and from the needs of an infant daughter, Selenay decided to take a break and go to the Home Farms with Caryo. While she was out, she was attacked by her husband and bandits with the intention of killing her and making Prince Karathanelan regent over Elspeth. Due to his Gift of ForeSight, Alberich came to her rescue with some Heraldic trainees who were doing mounted war exercises. They killed all of Selenay's attackers, including her husband. Alberich then explained to Selenay that the Prince had been plotting this from before they met. (Exile's Valor)
A few years later, Talamir died. It was believed that he was poisoned by members of the Royal Court to prevent Elspeth from being fostered out. Elspeth had grown into a self-absorbed child, and many feared she would never be Chosen. Talamir wanted to foster her with a remote minor noble family who wouldn't brook any nonsense and get her straightened out. Otherwise, Selenay would have to marry again or choose an heir from the collateral branches. Talamir's Companion, Rolan went out looking for the new Queen's Own. After several months, he found Talia among the Holderkin. When Talia arrived at the Palace, Selenay watched her as she dealt with Elspeth. Then Selenay herself told Talia what it meant to be Chosen and to be the Queen's Own. Talia quickly became the trusted friend that was characteristic of the Queen's Own and was able to change Elspeth into the kind of person that would be Chosen. (Arrows of the Queen)
Loved by the People[edit | edit source]
Selenay did many things during her reign that made her beloved by the people of Valdemar.
Prior to her ascention to the throne--during the Tedrel Wars--she endeared herself to the soldiers by visiting different campfires each night to listen to their stories and give them a face to associate with the monarchy. Consequently, she found in them an honor guard that unwittingly protected her after her father's murder.
During her first winter as Queen, Selenay held an ice festival on the frozen Terilee River that ran through Haven. As a result, her people came to love her even more than they already did. There were contests and opportunities of all sort for people to show off their talent, see the Queen, and have fun. For Selenay, it was a welcome relief from the pressure of her councilors to marry and secure the succession.
Selenay also brought about the Queen's Bread, a system in the city of Haven that required all children to attend a short amount of school every morning, where they would be given a free meal. While many parents would have been disappointed at losing a few candlemarks of their children's work, it made it easier on them to not have to feed them too much. This helped solve the double issue of education and food.
War with Ancar[edit | edit source]
A few years after Elspeth is Chosen, Selenay receives a marriage proposal from King Alessandar of Hardorn for Elspeth to marry his son, Prince Ancar. Selenay is reluctant to agree to anything with Elspeth so young, but agrees to a royal visit just to get a feel for things. She sends Talia and Herald Kris ahead of her and then sets out at a slower pace. When she reaches the border a couple of weeks later, neither of the Heralds are there to greet her. As a precaution, Selenay pulls back from the border and begins to wait. Several days later, Rolan rides into camp with two arrow messages: Kris is dead and Talia is as good as dead. Terribly betrayed by her ally, Selenay begins preparing for war. Later that night, Elspeth and Herald Dirk rush into her tent carrying Talia. With the help of the Companions, they were able to Fetch her from the Hardornen dungeons. Although she is seriously injured, she revives after several days and is able to tell them that Ancar has taken over the throne, has mages, and is on his way with an army of prison scum. Although the Valdemaran army is way outnumbered, the troops are bolstered by the mass revolt of the Hardornen border guard, who had served Alessandar out of love. When Ancar arrives, he accuses Selenay of his father's murder and demands Elspeth's hand in marriage and the disbanding of the Heralds. Selenay refuses and the battle begins. Although Valdemar has not fought magic in centuries, the first battle is won when Herald Griffon strikes down the mage in Ancar's army. (Arrow's Fall)
A few years later, Ancar tries to take Valdemar again. This time, Selenay sends Talia and Dirk to Rethwellan asking for assistance. The Valdemarans do not remember that they have a centuries-old mutual aid agreement with the Rethwellans. The mercenary Kerowyn reminds King Faramentha of the treaty and agrees to immediately take her mercenary company, the Skybolts, as part of the agreement. King Faramentha will send his army, led by his brother Prince Darenthallis, up as well, though this army will take longer to arrive. After weeks of leading Ancar's army north along the eastern border, the Valdemarans and Skybolts are trapped between Ancar and the border of Iftel. The Rethwellans arrive just in the nick of time to stop the slaughter by Ancar's army. During the battle, Selenay becomes lifebonded with Prince Darenthallis after he saves her life from a stray attacker. Nine months later, they give birth to twins, Princess Lyra and Prince Kris. (By the Sword; Mage Winds series)
Gifts[edit | edit source]
Selenay's Gifts include ForeSight, which works better for her on a battlefield than anywhere else. While it isn't strong enough for her to see possible outcomes of a battle, it is strong enough for her to use it to reliably pick the exact time to begin a maneuver. She also has a small Gift of Mindspeech.
Internship[edit | edit source]
Selenay served her internship in the Haven law courts, with Alberich as her bodyguard and sometimes adviser.
Family[edit | edit source]
Companion - Caryo
Music[edit | edit source]
In the series[edit | edit source]
Selenay appears in the following works:
- Exile's Honor, Heralds of Valdemar prequels, volume 1
- Exile's Valor, Heralds of Valdemar prequels, volume 2
- "Unintended Consequences" by Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 6
- "A Midwinter's Gift" by Kristin Schwengel, Seasons, Anthologies, volume 13
- Take a Thief, Heralds of Valdemar prequels, volume 3
- Arrows of the Queen, Heralds of Valdemar series, volume 1
- Arrow's Flight, Heralds of Valdemar series, volume 2
- Arrow's Fall, Heralds of Valdemar series, volume 3
- By the Sword
- Winds of Fate, Mage Winds series, volume 1
- Winds of Change, Mage Winds series, volume 2
- Winds of Fury, Mage Winds series, volume 3
- "In an Instant" by Elizabeth Vaughan, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 7
- "Sun in Glory" by Mercedes Lackey, Sun in Glory and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 2
- Storm Warning, Mage Storms series, volume 1
- Storm Rising, Mage Storms series, volume 2
- Storm Breaking, Mage Storms series, volume 3
- "Blue Heart" by Philip M. Austin, Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 1
- "Widdershins" by Judith Tarr, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 4