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So What is Valdemar?

What is Valdemar?

Valdemar is a kingdom in the world of Velgarth, created by the very talented author Mercedes Lackey.  There are multiple books in the over-all series, most of them divided up into self-contained sets and trilogies, listed below

Click on Kara to visit Mercedes Lackey's homepage

This list runs in chronological order, following the timeline laid out during the course of the stories.  Reading in this order is not necessary and may, in fact, make matters rather more confusing up to a certain point!
The Mage Wars.
The Black Gryphon
The White Gryphon
The Silver Gryphon
The Last Herald-Mage.
Magic's Pawn
Magic's Promise
Magic's Price
The Collegium Chronicles
Brightly Burning
Vows and Honor.
The Oathbound
Exile's Honour
Exile's Valour
Take a Thief
The Heralds of Valdemar.
Arrows of the Queen
Arrows Flight
Arrows Fall
Kerowyn's Tale.
By the Sword
The Mage Winds.
Winds of Fate
Winds of Change
Winds of Fury
The Mage Storms.
Storm Warning
Storm Rising
Storm Breaking
Darian's Tale.
Short Story Collections
Sword of Ice
Sun in Glory
Moving Targets
The Valdemar Companion
(authorised guide to all thing Velgarth and Valdemar)

Companion Teva

Teva's Valdemar Things

A Potted History of Velgarth
Several thousand years ago mages of incredible power-- enough to create new species and other such wonders-- lived in conjunction with the rest of the populace.  One of these mages; Kimyavir Ma'ar, the Mage of Black Fire, hungered for power and dominion and started a war effort that soon spread to involve the entire continent; plunging the kingdoms of Tantara and Predain into pitched battles.
The chief rallying point of the opposition to Ma'ar's brutal and sadistic campaign of ethnic cleansing and total dictatorship was the city of Ka'Venusho (home of the Kaled'a'in peoples) and the Tower of Urtho, the Mage of Silence and the creator of the gryphons.
A bitter betrayal left Urtho dying, but a magical weapon delivered Skandranon, the legendary Black Gryphon, ensured Ma'ar's downfall.  The joint magical fallout caused by the two Adepts dying caused the event known only as The Cataclysm, where magic was broken and reduced, ensuring that there would never again be enough magic to allow Adepts of the power of the old ones.  Skandranon and the Kaled'a'in Clan k'Leshya fled south and west from the apocalypse, eventually settling on the coast, building a city called White Gryphon, and forming an alliance with the Haighlei Empire.
The rest of the Kaled'a'in Clans gathered at the site of their annihilated home and made a pact with their Goddess, Kal'enel; those Clans that renounced magic became the Plains dwelling Shin'a'in nomads; charged with protecting the remains of Urtho's Tower, and the others became the mysterious forest dwelling Tayledras.
Many centuries later a nobleman-- Baron Valdemar-- fled, with his people, from the oppression of the Empire that had arisen in the east.  Valdemar, due to his wise leadership, had soon established a kingdom, named after him, and was proclaimed King.  To ensure that his kingdom could never fall victim to the corruption that had caused him to flee the Empire, Valdemar prayed to his Gods and was rewarded by the appearence of the Companions-- guardian spirits in the shape of gloriously white horses.  The Companions Chose Gifted individuals to become 'Heralds'; incorrutable dispensers of justice who answered only to their Companions and the monarch (who must also be a Herald).
Once their numbers were sufficient, the Companions began to breed normally, rather than just manifesting in a place called The Grove, except for one; the stallion known as the Groveborn.  This Companion never appears to age, and always Chooses the Herald who is to be the Monarch's Own; their most personal confidant and advisor.
In the reign of the monarchs Queen Elspeth the Peacemaker, and then King Randale, 'true' magic, the knowledge of it, was lost to Valdemar-- the dying wish of the famed last Herald-Mage Vanyel Ashkevron, who repelled an invasion by the dark Adept Leareth, and Heralds possesed Mindmagic only.
In the time of Queen Selenay, the actions of the mad King Ancar of Hardorn forced Princess Elspeth to journey afar for aid; she met the Tayledras people and discovered that she was an Adept level mage.  After several adventures, Elspeth and her new friends returned to Valdemar (with the aid of the ghost of Vanyel) in time to defeat Ancar, and his ally, Mornelithe Falconsbane, who was discovered to be the reincarnated-by-blood-magic soul of Leareth-- and of Ma'ar.
Several years after this magical disturbances began to wrack the land, and it was discovered that these Mage Storms were an echo of the long-distant Cataclysm.  Concurrently, the Eastern Empire became convinced that Valdemar was the cause of the Storms, and posed a severe threat to Valdemar and its allies.  People from Valdemar, Karse, Empire defectors in Hardorn, the Tayledras, Shin'a'in and returned Kaled'a'in banded together in an Alliance and a party of them journeyed to the centre of the Dhorisha Plains, to Urtho's Tower and managed, with sacrifice, to stop the Storms and prevent a repeat Cataclysm.
In the wake of the thwarted Cataclysm, magic was again disrupted, with the leylines of power being completely changed and the magic-dependant Eastern Empire neutralised as a threat.