Dalá Valannía (also spelled "Dalá'Valannía", birthname Alira Daryan, estimated birthdate ca. 1640) is a noted contemporary human historian and writer as well as one of the staff assisting with Artimidor Federkiel's great encyclopedia, the Santharian Compendium. Like many other prominent people Alira also took an artist's name based on the Styrásh tongue: Dalá'Valannía (Dalá'Valannía, literally meaning "Dragon Dreamer"). She makes her home upon the edges of the Water Marshes, a cosy little house, and is quite undisturbed by rumors of ghosts which haunt the place ceaselessly. When once asked why she chose to reside in such a cursed place, she merely replied with a serious mien, "Ghosts are a lot quieter than men actually."

The Historian Dalá'Valannía

View picture in full size Picture description. The historian Dalá Valannía posing for a portrait in her study. Image drawn by Faugar.

Appearance. Unassuming in appearance with sunbrown skin and dark hair (which she sometimes forgets to comb when busy), Dalá has a nice smile when she uses it and a fondness for pretty gowns, especially lavender ones. One of the oddities of her features is a contraption of steel and glass called 'spectacles', apparently an invention of the gnomes, perched on the bridge of her nose, which seems to heighten the power of her eyesight considerably. Return to the top

Biography. Dalá Valannía was born to a family of traders who lived in the eastern part of Sarvonia, near the Gulf of Glandor. At the age of four, Dalá Valannía's parents migrated to southern Sarvonia to the capital of New-Santhala. Though they were not well-off, her parents, nevertheless, managed to scrimp and save enough to educate their daughter at a young age at a select seminary ran by priestesses of Seyella. Dalá did not show an outstanding brilliance at lessons except for history, though the frustrated priestesses agreed that she was quick of intelligence and mind, only the wayward student refused to apply herself. She would often play truancy from classes, prefering to wander the bustling streets of New-Santhala, making friends with street urchins and book-sellers. However, when she reached of age, her parents tried to betroth her a rich buyer of antique objects. Dalá put her foot down and adamantly refused to marry a man twice her age, who smelled perpetually of sour onions. Instead, she announced her intentions to become a historian, an unlikely occupation for a female in those days, and ran away to apprentice herself under the tutelage of the sage Artimidor Federkiel who accepted her simply because she kept pestering him until he did. When he did, he had a lengthy discussion with Dalá's parents who, in the end, agreed to let their daughter do as she wished.

Somewhat capricious in nature, Dalá soon settled in her new calling as historian-in-training although the young woman's tendency to linger and engage the other members of Artimidor's staff in gossip and neglect her work sometimes as a result has caused more than a few new grey hairs in the sage's sagely beard.

Then came the fateful day which marked a significant change in her life. While visiting an old bookshop, Dalá came across a sheaf of old parchments, so fragile that the ink etched upon the paper could only be seen under strong light, hidden away in a dusty corner that was quite forgotten by patrons. Immediately she recognised the odd markings upon the parchments as Styrásh, the archaic language of the elven race.

Feeling instinctively that the papers carried information of great value, and with Artimidor's support, the historian decided to devote herself exclusively to deciphering what she had quite accidentally come across. Since the ancient elvish tongue was considered to be a dead language in New-Santhala with only very few scholars still proficient in it, thus the task of translation proved to be difficult and often frustrating during the years that followed. However, Dalá perservered doggedly and never gave up although much of her fellow historians had learn to give her a wide berth when she was tackling a particularly difficult passage. Such times became known among her circle of peers as"'Dalá's Very Bad Days of Pottery Flinging".

Eventually, her hunch proved itself to be right. It turned out that the long-lost histories and deeds of Katya Ileri, the Sovereign of the Erpheronians during the Age of Awakening, was found to be contained with those precious parchment pages, along with important mention of Avásh'aelía, mythical Ruler of the Shadow Elves.

In the interim of her researches, the historian also took on the Styrásh name of "Dalá Valannía", as she is now commonly known, which means "Dragon Dreamer". But whether she dreams of dragons when she sleeps is something only the west wind knows as it blows past her windows at night.
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Importance. Dalá'Valannía travels extensively to gather more information needed for her historical findings and has become a foremost expert on Katya Ileri and the Bone Queen. Owing to her early schooling in a temple of Seyella, Dalá also exhibits a deep interest in the obscure avatars of the Goddess of Destiny, or known as Voices, so called as they are supposed to speak for Seyella. In particular, she is interested in the mystery of one Voice, Nehmar, who was reportedly stabbed by an assassin and left for dead, according to testimonies left behind, but her body was never found and it was rumored that Seyella granted Nehmar a new lease of life.

Dalá uses to say that she writes bad poetry as a sideline but very occasionally, much to the relief of those closest to her. Others say that whatever she starts turns out great, so one should never trust the own judgement of an author. In fact it has to be stated very clearly that Dalá is one of the most talented and proficient writers of the whole kingdom, and that especially her Katya and Bone Queen stories are loved not only by everyone interested in Santharian history, but also by those who like to read adventure stories and new interpretations of ancient myths.

Once every two years, Dalá will make her way to New-Santhala to submit in her work to Artimidor, for compilation into his tome, and try to fatten the scribe during her short stay with nutrious home-cooked meals. On the way home, she would sometimes make detours to visit other friends like the famous artist, Rephaell "Faugar" Rýnngaewish.

Dalá Valannía, by adapting these rich histories for integration into Artimidor's tome, has ensured a kind of immortality for those remarkable Queens of antiquity and so, they will forever be remembered by those who live now and those to come in future ages.
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