|Nortah Al Sendahl|
Appearance and Personality
Nortah is tall, blond haired boy with perfect, pearly white teeth, who develops into a lean man with sculpted muscle, and handsome features.
He begins as a somewhat arrogant young nobleman, who is somewhat unhappy at having to join the Order, and would dearly love to leave. He and Vaelin develop a rivalry, but it eventually softens to almost friendship. After the incident with his father, he becomes more withdrawn and bitter.
For the rest of their time in the order, despite his new found anger, Nortah becomes Vaelin's second-in-command and teacher of the Wolf Runners, earning a good reputation amongst the men as the most human of the brothers compared to the natural fear inspired by Vaelin. Though Nortah took to heavy drinking during his time with the Wolf Runners, he never forgot his faith and remained true to the ideals of the Order. (Though it is noted by Vaelin that he is the only member of the five brothers not to forgive himself for the men he killed in battle).
After he was forced into exile and joined the people of the Gifted, Nortah's anger had all but ceased as he found new purpose to the tribe, in particular his to be beloved Sella. Despite joining a colony of Deniers, he held true to the faith, going as far as to partially raise his and Sella's children in the teachings of the faith. When Vaelin returns to him after five years, Nortah sees him as more than just his brother, but as the uncle to his children, refusing to abandon both his brother and his faith when the time of war came.
Nortah became a lord marshal of the realm and was a main factor in both the acceptance of the Gifted people and the victory against the Valarians. Nortah as lord would be commander of his own regiment of soldiers and gifted and one of Queen Lyrna's chief advisors, his council being one of the most valuable to her.
After the events of the war, Nortah and Vaelin being the last of the 5 brothers, he would return home to his family to live a simple life though never forsaking his bond to his brother.
He is a fine bowman, as well as adept with throwing knives only rivalled by Dentos, though he had no ability with the staff and isn’t particularly gifted with the sword but uses his grace and aggression to his advantage. He is reknowned as one of the most gifted riders in the order, as well as one of its greatest teachers.
Nortah joined the Sixth Order in the same group as Vaelin Al Sorna, Barkus Jeshua, Dentos, Caenis Al Nysa, and many others under the tutelage of Master Sollis. It is later revealed that Nortah’s father and Vaelin’s father were rivals; after Vaelin’s father sent his son to the Order, Nortah was also sent, to better his father's position at court. Despite the rule that they have no family but the Order, Nortah regularly speaks of them, which annoys the others. He and Vaelin soon developed a fierce rivalry, frequently getting punished by the Masters for bickering.
Nortah survives the Test of the Run, coming fourth. On his journey, he sees a wolf, probably the Nameless Wolf that saved Vaelin.
During the Test of the Wild, Nortah kills a bear, and comes back with its craws made into a necklace as a prize; it is later revealed that the bear chased him, and fell off a cliff. He also met a trapper who told him news of the wider world, including that Vaelin’s father had resigned his position as Battle Lord, and asked a boon of the King to return his son from the Order. He is disappointed to hear that Vaelin had refused to leave, a chance that he himself hungered for.
When the brothers take on the task of helping Dentos pass the Test of Knowledge, Nortah proved the best teacher. His story telling technique was straightforward but effective, and he encouraged Dentos to think about the meaning of the story. The Test left Nortah aggressively hostile.
When the boys are reward with a trip to the Summertide Fair, Nortah and Vaelin are ordered to stay, allegedly for slacking off. They later learn that it is because Nortah’s father the First Minister is to be hung for treason and corruption. Nortah uses sheets to climb out of the window, and escapes to Order house. Vaelin tracks him to the Summertide Fair, where Nortah is trying to break through the cordon. It takes five soldiers of the Twenty-Seventh Cavalry to struggle to subdue him. Vaelin rescues him from the soldiers, and knocks Nortah out. As more soldiers arrive, and then Barkus, Caenis and Dentos join in, things seem on the verge of turning ugly, until Prince Malcius uses his authority to calm the situation. Nortah’s father is hung in the end; it is later revealed that his crime was to steal power from the King, not money. Nortah believes his mother and sister were also killed, but unbeknownst to him, Vaelin convinces the King to spare them, sending them to the Northern Reaches.
Returning to the Order house, Vaelin expects to face punishment, but find Aspect Gainyl Arlyn and Master Sollis understanding; angrier at what the King did to Nortah’s father, and what that did to Nortah. After the experience, Nortah becomes more withdrawn, though displaying a new found ferocity in training. It is only when Frentis joins the Order, with his energy and blind enthusiasm, that Nortah is somewhat enlivened. He takes on the task of showing Frentis the bow.
The Test of the Melee ends with Nortah holding the captured lance in his hands, blood streaming from wounds on his head and face. He smiled at Vaelin who acted as the leader of the Test, and say “It was a good plan, brother”. Vaelin and Caenis help him to the infirmary, as he succumbs to his wounds.
In the week long exchange to with brothers and sisters from different Orders, Nortah chose to join the Second Order, the Order of Contemplation and Enlightenment. Nortah manages to get himself expelled from the Order after only two days, when he tried it on with a sister giving him a relaxation massage. He is shocked when Vaelin is poisoned during the Aspect massacre. Later, Nortah excelled in the Test of the Horse, setting a new record in the process, and also in the Test of the Bow.
During Frentis’ Test of the Wild, when he doesn’t return, Nortah joins Vaelin, Barkus, Caenis and Dentos to find and rescue him. They track him to tunnels under an inn, thanks to Scratch, the Volarian slave-hounds. The structure seems to be some kind of temple to the mysterious and supposedly defunct Seventh Order of the Faith, the Order of the Dark. Behind a hidden door, they find Frentis tied to a frame, with his torso tattooed with scars. The outlaw One Eye makes a wall of fire, but Caenis recognises it as fake, and leaps through the flame and kills him.
The five friends graduate as full brothers of the Sixth Order, after succeeding in the Test of the Sword. Nortah endured a prolonged contest of several minutes, before being victorious.
Nortah and the others head to the Cumbraelin campaign against unfaithful fanatics hiding in the forests. By this time, Nortah has become more and more bitter at the Order, and started drinking too much.
In the subsequent campaign against Fief Lord Hentes Mustor, the True-blade, Nortah and Dentos are dispatched to command the new Battle Lord, Lakrhil Al Hestian, to stand down, after they capture the keep and kill Mustor. The Battle Lord reluctantly agrees to stand down, but only after executing his prisoners. Nortah is outraged. In a fury he chops off the Battle Lords hand, and would have killed him, except Dentos stops him.
Nortah flees the encampment to the west, with Vaelin in pursuit to bring him to justice. However, he was injured in his escape, and soon succumbs to his wounds. Sella and her people, all gifted with the Dark, find him, and heal him in their camp in the Fallen City deep in Lonak territory. Nortah and Sella soon become lovers. Eventually, Vaelin tracks him there, and is greeted by Sella's Warcat; Snowdance. Seeing that Nortah is happy, Vaelin agrees to tell everyone that he was killed by the Lonak, and he only found his body. He takes Nortah’s sword and his talisman of the Order as evidence of his death. When they part, Vaelin finally reveals that Nortah’s mother and sister are safe in the Northern Reaches.
Nortah and the community make the arduous treck to the Northern Reaches, and are allowed to settle by Tower Lord Vanos Al Myrna in Nehrin’s Point. Over the years, Nortah has become the school-teacher of the community, and he and Sella have had two children. However, his mother had died before they got to the Reaches, and his sister shuns them, fearing the Dark gifts of the community.
When Vaelin is appointed the Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches, he visits them, and Nortah and Vaelin share a tender embrace. During the visit, Vaelin collapses with a vision from the Blood Song of the death of King Malcius and the invasion of the Realm by the Volarians. Vaelin mustors every North Guard, every Eorhil and Seordah that will come, and all men of fighting age in the Northern Reaches. Nortah joins the mustor and with him come some of the gifted from his community; Weaver the healer, Cara who can call the rain, Lorkan with the ability to become invisible, and Marken who can see what a dead person did before he died. The next day, they march south through the realm of the Seordah, the Great Northern Forest.
Passing through Nilsael, they are joined by the Nilsaelin forces, as well as the remnants of the Realm Guard led by Caenis. Vaelin leads his host on their treck to lift the siege of Alltor. As they approach Alltor, the scouts report the dire state of the siege for the defenders. Vaelin opts for a direct charge at the centre. Guide by his Blood Song, Vaelin burst straight though the Volarian lines. The ploy creates chaos in the Volarian ranks, allowing Vaelins army of Seordah, Eorhil, the northerners and Caenis's Realm Guards to decimate the Volarian host almost twice it's size.