Unknown to most, Talin was born amongst the Tuatha’an. Evidence of her past only really exists in an unusual fondness for colour in her clothing or hair adornments, for few would guess from her blunt and flippantly cruel manner that she originally came from such a warm and gregarious people. She was always an unusual child, calculating and cold with a distinct lack of empathy for others. As she grew she learned to mimic behaviour in a bid to fit in better with her peers. But beyond the one rule she understood — to do no harm — there was so much that made no sense to her. She was often maligned as a result.
She has always preferred animals to humans, for they are easier to understand and predict. As a child she was often sequestered to the company of the large hounds that ran with the wagons. She used to watch them hunt, observing with fascination the ripple of muscles in their large bodies and the tear of teeth and flex of jaw. Of their prey she watched the process of life leaving the body. In the shredded remains of corpseflesh Talin realised there was much to discover about the inner workings hidden beneath fur and skin. When the dogs were satiated or left remains, she explored without squeamishness. Sometimes she cleaned the bones and placed them back together like a delicate puzzle.
A curiosity and interest in the workings of bodies began.
In particular Talin has a soft spot for horses, one that persists to this day. It has been remarked upon that Talin is kinder to her horses than her patients. Her current mount is a large shire horse called Mephisto.
Talin’s path to the Tower was unusual. Though she has never been inclined to intentional harm, when a soul has fled the body, she feels no sentimentality for what is left behind. Upon the death of her favourite mastiff, she took it upon herself to finally discover what lay inside a body unbroken by the hunt. However when her grisly task was discovered, no one realised or believed she had not killed the beast. It was a huge mistake, and one she regretted instantly, for it barred to her the only home and people she had ever known. Afraid of her now, they took her to Tar Valon and the Tower in the hope the ills of her mind might be Healed by the Sisters there. Or that at the very least, they would take responsibility for the strange child, who might otherwise be abandoned entirely.
When she was Tested, it was discovered she had the Spark.
Talin values rules, and thus took to Tower life with little difficulty. In fact she quickly preferred it to the life from which she had come. Acutely aware of her own oddities by now, she observed her fellow novices mostly from afar. She was rarely in trouble. Pranks and gossip were irrelevancies to her. As were friendships. But she learned them all, understanding that this was a world she must teach herself to move within and thrive.
Her interest in the Yellow Ajah began early. Even as a novice she helped in the infirmary every chance she could, soaking up knowledge as she was allowed, both surprised and vindicated to discover her interests found a home here that did not end in her harsh judgement.
During all her years of training she never maintained relationships with her peers, but it proved problematic upon her Raising when it came to the 100 weaves. Talin was unnecessarily cruel in her distractions of others, until no one would deign to work with her at all in practise. The isolation did not concern her, but the halt it placed on her training was an obstacle to overcome. She combed through her list of fellow Accepted to find someone suitable.
It was how she met Nythadri.
Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah
Upon earning the shawl, there was no question of the Ajah she would pledge herself to. Yet Talin quickly became unenamoured of the power her new rank gave her, coming to realise that she was still just a cog in a larger machine. She has a reputation for poor bedside manner with patients, and quick, breath-stealing Healings when there is nothing unusual in the condition for her to learn about. Her expertise is in especially unusual or complex injuries, and her knowledge of the human body and its inner workings is unrivalled. She is often the attendant Yellow on the training fields, much to the disappointment of the recruits, who are usually made to feel like bags of blood, bone and flesh. Talin gives little concern to pain. She sometimes appears to forget these people are alive and not as empty vessels as her beloved mastiff when she works on them.
Her standing amongst her Sisters is sometimes contentious. No one spares much love for her superior manner and her insistence on how things should be done. She asks a great many questions, as many as a White.
In the scant months after her Raising Talin began to understand what she still perceives as the Tower’s great failings. The Aes Sedai cling to tradition rather than questioning it. Quickly dissatisfied with her assigned work on the training fields, Talin simply left.
If she cannot fit into the Tower’s world, she will create a new one: one where she is accepted for who she is.
Not long after gaining the shawl, she took a tour of the Borderlands. An emissary from Shienar had come south begging aid, and she was curious to discover for herself how close the Last Battle might be. It was during this time she met Kaori. Aggrieved by the ways the world closed its eyes to the Blight’s encroach and his people’s suffering, he was a soldier on the brink of desertion. Understanding the weakness she might exploit, Talin made him an offer. He accepted, and they were bonded.
Read more about Kaori’s history
Kaori’s loyalty to her is unrivalled. She has shared some of her plans and intentions for the future — a future she means them both to survive and flourish in. His trust in her vision is unerring.
She has great plans.
Among the foremost of them is the goal to release herself from the binding of the Three Oaths. The Tower she regrettably considers a failing institution that may not survive the battle to come, and she will not stay on a sinking ship. During this time she travelled for resources. A curious and chance rumour led her to a hut in the Tarien countryside, and the man sequestered within. The toils of his body were fascinating.
When she realised who Arikan was, it did not phase her. His allegiances made little difference to the immediate and all consuming challenge of piecing him back together in those early days. Talin had never encountered a survivor or torture, and could not have ever imagined the ravages a body might even sustain and still survive. He was mostly delirious. As close to death as she had ever seen another human, even in the Borderlands.
Thus began their uneasy truce, and later bargain.
In the meanwhile Talin has set into motion her other machinations. Though she has never been a key player in Tower politics, she is a great observer of them. She is aware of the shifting sands beneath the current Amyrlin’s feet, and it has only convinced her of a need to expedite her plans. War with the Seanchan looms a massive threat. The Last Battle must be summoned first, and for that the path for the Dragon must be clear. Talin will use Arikan ruthlessly to see it done, and anyone else she deems necessary to the goal too.
In recent days she has stolen the Oath Rod from the Tower, and an Aes Sedai too: Nythadri, newly raised to the Green, and the perfect pawn in her grand and ambitious plan.
Appearance and Personality
Known for her somewhat cruel nature, in a flippant more than intentional way. The ends justify the means. Her hair is red and worn in precise fashions, often with adornments such as flowers. There is something of innocence to her appearance at first glance, but often her expression is cold. Blue eyes, pale, a smattering of freckles across her nose. Talin is tall and slender. She is fond of horses, probably moreso than her patients. Despite her rather clinical nature she is also fond of colour. Rules are important to her. She claims Nythadri to be her conscience.
- 1st Age: Helena Asquith
- 6th Age: Klotho, Greek Fate