Second-oldest of her family, Kalestra found herself thrust into a role of responsibility when her father and older sister died unexpectedly. There were sudden requirements of her that she thought she had escaped by being the second child. With her mother dead for many years, Kalestra became the regent-expect. Many nights she lamented her station and prayed for relief, but none came.
To no one’s surprise but her own, Kalestra eventually strengthened under the pressure. The awkward and anguished thirteen-year-old gave way to a thoughtful and intelligent young woman, one whose balance of wood-lore (learned in her childhood) and courtly behavior (taught by her advisors) serves her kingdom well. She is well-respected by she servants of the crown.
Kalestra came to look on her transitional days as embarrassing. She saw a young woman crying to the gods for release from her duties, rather than for the strength to bear them. She saw her grief at her own predicament rather than at the death of her family. She was ashamed, and this shame bolstered her resolve further. She would become the woman her kingdom needed. She would uphold the ancient laws and bring glory and peace to her people.
It was because of all this that Jasper‘s recent betrayal brought her such anger. His greed, his thoughtlessness, his pure arrogant disrespect, were the worst parts of her younger self brought to life before her eyes. Her grandmother may forgive Jasper, but Kalestra will not.
Kalestra has brown eyes, long black hair, and white, almost paper-like skin. She often has dark spots under her eyes from long nights with little sleep. Her garb is still reminiscent of the ranger’s cape that she wore when young. When she travels she wears mail to protect against an assassin’s arrows, and carries the sword that was Thenor‘s long ago.
Listen first, then consider, then speak. Treat all people with courtesy, but especially when their station demands it. Take your duties and the duties of others seriously. Do not forget your heritage or your allies.
Intimacies: “I will take up the responsibility that my siblings reject” (Defining), “Work brings reward” (Major), “My kingdom” (Major), “Grandmother Athela” (Positive), “Hospitality” (Major), “Jasper” (Negative)
Kalestra spent much time with the rangers of Slumber’s Reach as a child, learning how to build shelters and forage for food in the frozen winters. She wields sword and bow with equal skill. She knows the geography of Slumber’s Reach as if it were her own back yard, which in many ways it was.
She also knows the laws of her land as they apply to both princess and peasant, writes serviceably (if not beautifully), and knows the history and layout of the surrounding kingdoms. Her success in her studies is driven as much by willpower as by intelligence. Kalestra is short on grace, both physical and social, but the respect with which she treats others has a magnetism all its own. Much of that respect will fall apart when she confronts Jasper.
Kalestra has no control over her essence, and knows nothing of the supernatural. She suspects that the Never-King’s ghost may be just a rumor.
- Pitir, her advisor and would-be power behind the throne. Ambitious, calculating, loyal.
- Ragara Telan, tutor from an outcast branch of the family. Careful, intense, bitter.
- Oleg, servant and wardrobe coordinator. Approachable, selective, boastful.
- Tetra, tutor-at-arms, who thinks that Kalestra should train more often. Strict, fair, quiet.
- Redda of Starpeak, a suitor who has traveled from a land farther north to woo Kalestra’s hand. Petty, flirtatious, uncertain.
- How will Kalestra react when she finds out that her older sister is alive?
- Does Kalestra take Jasper’s rebellion seriously, or does she think that this is just foolishness?