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Dawn's Vale


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Why Companions Choose the people they do

1. The gender of the Herald has nothing to do with the gender of the Companion. The idea is that the two are best friends, not lovers, and there is nothing that says your best friend has to be of either sex.
2. The Companions don't care about orientation; it's a non issue for them.
3. The Herald's personality is important. The Herald has to be someone that the Companion respects and can become friends with. If the Companion does not respect the person, that character won't be chosen to become a Herald.
4. The Companion is also looking for someone who is young and who can be trained to do the Herald's physically and emotionally demanding job.
5. The Companion is looking for someone who has a Gift or Gifts (usually Gifts manifest after the Herald is Chosen); there are many very nice, unGifted people in the world, and they can't become Heralds.
6. The Companions will only choose people who can be spared from their current life. A Companion won't choose the only possible heir for a farm, someone who has Bardic or Healer talent (and who is needed in those Schools), or someone who is the sole means of support for a family. In other words, if a person has a much-needed skill in another area or is needed by his/her family and/or fellow villagers (like the only blacksmith in a town), etc., then that person will not be Chosen.

Once Companions Choose, the bonding is for life. In the books, the only one we have ever heard of repudiating her Herald was Gala with Tylendel, and she suicided right after. But if a Companion dies, then the Herald will usually die with him/her, with the example of Herald Lavan Firestorm in Brightly Burning, and Kris in Arrow's Fall. Companions would also not survive the death of their Chosen, with the exception of the Monarch's Own Companion. No one knows exactly how Companions Choose, but in Arrow's of the Queen, it is said that some who were particularly sensitive to the Herald-Companion bond have described that first encounter as a "feeling I was being measured". But by what, no one knows

Companions are horse-like beings that are always white, have blue eyes, silvery hooves that sound like bells, and always run very fast and have much endurance. The first ones were Grove-born, and there were more of those than were born normally, but that is not the case several hundred years later during the Last Herald-Mage trilogy, and then later during Selenay's time. In those times, the only Grove-born Companion is the Monarch's Own Companion. He is always a stallion, and if he dies, then another will appear in the Grove and Choose the current Monarch's Own if he/she is still alive. This Companion never seems to age, and it is possible for him to have many different Heralds, because when his current one dies, he goes out to search for a new one. The Companions who are born the normal way live as long as their Heralds, and are reincarnations of previous Heralds. An example would be Herald-Mage Savil, Vanyel's aunt, who became Companion Sayvil, and Chose Kerowyn. The Companions did not want their Heralds to know this, so they blanked it out of their Heralds' minds until it was discovered in Selenay's time.

If their Chosen Herald has Mindspeech, and most do, then the Companion can speak mind-to-mind with the Herald. It was not infrequent for Heralds to get stares for replying to something the Companion said, or suddenly breaking into laughter, while the Companion whickered in it's own version of laughter.