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Friday, December 30, 2011

Character Bio - Yahto Veli

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone in this holiday season! I've taken a short hiatus from blogging while we celebrated the holidays and entertained family, but now I think it's time to return to my promised character bios. So I am sitting amidst the detritus of new Christmas toys in my living room and ignoring the monumental mess around me to take a little time out to write about Yahto Veli. I should say before I begin, however, that writing a character bio about a nark is rather difficult as each nark is really two characters, not one, and none more so than Yahto Veli, but I hope to put together a bio that would please Veli and at least cause Yahto not to scowl too deeply. I'm also going to try and avoid repeating anything that I've already explained about narks in previous blog posts, so if you find yourself confused, you might want to reference my "Student Questions" posts. And so, we begin...

Full Name: Yahto Veli (Narks do not have surnames, although they do belong to clans).
Siblings: Yahto Veli had only one sibling, in the manner of all narks, who is mentioned briefly in book 3, if you can find him. You will notice the past tense used here because his brother, Yeriel Yavin, died before our story began.
Physical description: Yahto has black hair, tan skin, and dark grey eyes, while Veli has blond hair, light blue eyes, and fair skin. As with all narks, Yahto Veli has long hair that falls about to his shoulders, large, pointed ears which he can twitch and move slightly independent of the rest of his head, and very angular features that are humanoid, but ever-so-slightly otherworldly. He is tall and slender with very long fingers. When the Six first arrive in Alitheia, he is about 50 years old (equivalent to about 30 in human years). After his time with the Oracle, however, he has aged to about  85 in nark years, placing him in the early years of "middle aged" according to his kind.
Personality: Here is where I have had the most fun with Yahto Veli. While most night and day narks share nearly-identical personalities with their counterparts, Yahto and Veli are unique in their distinct personality differences. While much on the surface of their personalities is different, however, I've tried to drive home that at their hearts, they are the same. Yahto is glum, pessimistic, impatient, and caustic, while Veli is cheerful, optimistic, a patient friend and companion, and kind. Their personality shifts, therefore, mirror their appearance shifts. What they have in common, however, is a deep thoughtfulness and loyalty. They are each devoted to the cause of the rebellion and would lay down their lives for any of their friends.
In Alitheia: Yahto Veli is part of a special caste of narks who have joined with the humans in a traditional relationship of service and protection. For hundreds of years, narks who felt called to these duties would separate themselves from their communities and clans and join together in training and preparation for this task, which begins when they are very young. Only a select few ever choose to take the Oath of Service to a member of the ruling royal household, and Yahto Veli is part of the rotation of narks from this caste that go through terms of trial to see if they are suited for this special position. Yahto Veli broke tradition by making the Oath of Service to Darcy that you find at the end of book 3.
Trivia: Yahto Veli's name was chosen very specifically. Yahto means Blue (Native American) and Veli means Brother (Finnish). So, essentially, he is a "Blue (or grumpy) Brother." I was originally going to kill Yahto Veli off at the end of the series, but I found that my readership became so attached to him (and so quickly!) that I simply couldn't do that. I still needed him to make a self-sacrifice of some serious sort (holy alliteration, Batman!), though, so I came up with the idea of his episode with the Oracle to replace killing him. He is engaged in a courtship with Voitto Vesa, although I cannot elaborate on where that is going because my readers still do not know the fate of Voitto Vesa as of the end of book 3. He will continue to play a dominant role in each of the remaining three books. He was the first nark that I envisioned.


  1. so cool to see inside a nark. After reading that his name means blue brother, I envision a sort of avatar. Close or not?

  2. If you're thinking Avatar in terms of the movie... not really, sorry! The "Blue-ness" of Yahto is only in his personality. However, the other-worldliness and sense of the creature being humanoid but clearly not human is similar to the creatures in the movie.