Val is a servant in service to the Akarans on Acacia. He works in the furnace room of the catacombs underneath the palace, and has been good friends with Dariel Akaran since he found the young prince wandering through the tunnels. He is so large that on their first meeting, Dariel mistook Val for a giant.
Val, like the other 'fire-feeders' that he works with, has very dark skin that has been stained from years of working with the coal. His hair is also stained and dirty with coal dust, and his face has craggy features. He is a huge man, with a large upper body girth and an all-around large stature.
Early Life Edit
Val was born into a raiding family from Candovia, the Verspines. He grew up raiding with his family along the whole west coastline of the Known World, from Candovia to Talay. His family would sneak into cities and towns by night, take anything they liked and get rid of anyone that got in their way. Then they would camp on one of the Outer Isles and live in luxary with their stolen wealth until they ran out and it was time to raid again. Val eventually got tired with raiding and thought of himself as no more than an animal after all of the people that he had hurt or killed. He decided to stop raiding and came to Acacia to get a job as a servant.
The War with the MeinEdit
Dariel likes to visit Val in the furnace room of the palace's catacombs whenever he sneaks in through the secret entrance in his bedroom. Dariel sits for hours watching Val and the other servants labor at the furnaces, shoveling coal to heat the kitchen ovens. During his break, Val brings the prince to the mess hall with him to share his lunch and speak to Karan, the woman who gives out the servants' rations, although she isn't happy with Dariel eating food that isn't his. During his visits, Val often entertains Dariel with stories from his past as a raider of the Gray Slopes.
After the war that Hanish Mein had started was won and the Mein were in power Val, along with other refugees, made his way north to his homeland of Candovia in an attempt to find safety and shelter. It was in a makeshift rest camp that Val heard Dariel Akaran's ex-guardian drunkenly boasting of how he had been entrusted with one of the Akaran children. The man had gotten to the spot he was enstructed to bring the prince to and found it deserted. Not having any other instructions, he left the prince to his fate and abandoned him. Val probed him for information and left him, after knocking out most of his teeth, to go look for the lost prince. He found him in the same spot that the man said he had left him, and the ex-servant decided to look after the prince himself.
Looking to make a living in the war-ravaged land, Val turned to the only thing he knew he could do to survive, raiding. Only this time, Val had Dariel with him to train to be a raider of the Gray Slopes just as he once was. Over the next ten years Val would show Dariel all of the tricks and advice of being a succesful raider. Together, they built a new hidden settlement for them and their raiding crew in the Outer Isles, Palishdock. To keep their identities a secret from the world, Val gave Dariel the alias Spratling and took the name Dovian for himself, after his nationality of Candovian.
Val first met Dariel when the young boy found the furnace room and watched the men labor with the furnaces for hours. Val is one of the few servants who likes Dariel's presence in the catacombs, as most of them believe that they will be blamed if anything should happen to him while down there. Dariel would often watch Val work the furnaces, and on his break they would go to the mess hall to share some of the servant's food. Although Val has always been a bit skeptical of Dariel, a boy of royal blood hanging around a common servant, he still likes to have the boy around, and Dariel feels that he is safe when with Val.