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Considering the book’s been out for a month now, it’s past time for another “Meet the Characters” post! Today, let’s introduce Tei, a young survivor with an unexpected talent who accompanies Rakariel through Before the Sun Fades.

Click to reveal spoilers:

Tei, technically Tei Avinson, is the heir of the mayoral line in the lost and forgotten city of Dareldis, once the capital of a small but thriving kingdom that claimed the mesa at the valley’s head and the lowlands at its foot. He’s a born survivor, navigating his ruined home with instinctive ease, avoiding its dangers with almost uncanny skill. Though he knows the dangers he faces better than anyone, Rakariel’s courage and determination set an example he feels he must follow, guiding her through the ruins in her quest to restore the light he has never known.

He’s a natural scout, with a talent for stealth and silence second to none, drilled into him through years of survival. His danger sense is finely honed, and he’s a good climber when he needs to be, but until Rakariel arrived in his limited world, combat was an impossibility. Under her guidance, he’s discovered a natural gift for magic, mastering his first spell impressively quickly. But that gift is also a danger: attuned to the patterns of the world that magic plays on, Tei would find it all too easy to ‘discover’ new spells before he had the skill or control to cast them, with unpredictable and dangerous consequences. As a result, Rakariel now considers it her duty to see him trained — before he can get himself into trouble.

The new world of sun and sky awes him, although for a while he couldn’t cope with daylight for long, and he still sunburns easily. Much that is commonplace to Rakariel is new to him, and he can frequently be found taking a long look at something anyone from outside the valley would consider utterly mundane.

It wasn’t possible to tell while the valley was still closed, the fog that filled it cutting visibility to no more than a few houses away, but Tei has proved to be somewhat short-sighted. Perhaps, if he ever makes it to the mages’ school Rakariel has in mind, they’ll give him corrective lenses!

Questions about Tei? Questions for Tei? Ask away!