“When your heart pounds and you feel your blood rush through your body, that is your courage speaking to you. Telling you to be brave.”
Nicknames/Titles: The Protector of the Path, The King’s Right Arm
Date of Birth: Lune’s Shadow (January 16)
Appearance: Talin is an older Duslander with dark skin, black hair and eyes. He is tall and athletic at over 6 foot. He keeps his hair short, though he braids his beard into a twin braid with silver beads. Talin has many scars and is missing three fingers from his right hand due to an old injuring, leaving him with only his little finger and thumb. He often wears dark leather armour or clothing along with the purple sash of his House.
Home: Arlent, central Duslands
Job Role: Protector of the Path and then the King’s Sorran, Head of House Arlbond.
Story Role: Side character and the adoptive father to Mina. He is primarily her mentor and father figure whilst acting as her benefactor.
Motivations: In his youth, Talin was motivated by glory. He didn’t care for gold or treasures, he simply wanted to be the best warrior and prove himself to his brothers by constantly challenging himself with ever increasing goals.
As an adult, he learned lessons from King Khaled which helped him calm down. He came to realise that his pride meant little, and he cared more for protecting his family, his friends, and the people of Arlent. His main goal is to provide for Arlent whilst serving his king, though once Mina entered his life, all this flipped upside down and protecting her became his primary motivation.
Personality: Talin was once wild, impulsive, and arrogant because he was restless. It was the King and Talin’s friends who taught him discipline, and thus Talin settled into the calmer demeanour that he presents now. Though if pushed, he’s more than capable of unleashing a whirlwind of destruction.
The older Talin is a humble, wise, and patient man who trains hard and takes his duties and sense of honour seriously. He’s not completely stubborn and shares King Khaled’s relaxed nature and sense of humour. He is an optimist and tries to see the good in people, even Prince Ravel. Jonan calls him naïve, and even Iman thinks his sense of honour will get him killed one day. After serving the king and attending many Council meetings, he tries not to let the politics and backstabbing bother him.
Quirks: Talin smiles a lot and has a calm, soothing air about him. He rarely raises his voice or gets angry, though he speaks with a commanding voice that people instantly pay attention to.
He’s not naturally left-handed, but he has taught himself how to be self-sufficient with his left hand.
Abilities: A talented swordsman, Talin is known to be one of the greatest warriors in the world and has won every single tournament he has entered. There are multiple tales and tavern songs about his skills and the deeds he performed in the last war, though he’ll say these are exaggerated.
Talin is quick and strong with both Solaran style sword fighting and sand dancing. Though not naturally left-handed, he re-taught himself how to fight with his left hand. He can’t write well with his left hand, though.
His skills make him the perfect sorran, but that’s not why he serves the King. Talin acts as King Khaled’s moral compass on many issues, and he has a deep knowledge of the Duslands and their tribes which makes him ideal as the King’s voice in the south.
Secrets: Talin has many secrets but doesn’t speak of his past partly because it physically pains him to do so.
Family: Talin comes from a large family within the Sanstrider tribe. He is the son of the djharn’s second wife and had many older and younger half-siblings and cousins that he didn’t feel particularly close to. His father was overly strict and tried to force Talin into an arranged marriage, which caused the younger Talin to act out and rebel. His older brother Tareq always bossed Talin around. Many of the tribesmen his own age kept their distance from Talin as he was always getting into some trouble and they didn’t want to be punished alongside him.
The only person he felt close to was Iman, his half-sister who was born only a day apart. The two of them were raised together and became inseparable allies and mischief makers. Everywhere Talin went, Iman was sure to follow, and the two of them have supported each other and remained close ever since.
As Protector of the Path, Talin retains a cordial relationship with his old tribe and family. His elder brother Tareq is now djharn and they regard each other with respect.
Favourite Food: Lamb steaks, Iman’s pies, grapes, red wine, pomegranate juice
Favourite Colour: Black
Favourite Place: Beside the oasis river in Arlent
Favourite Hobbies: Reading, sword training, horse riding
You’ll need to read Sand Dancer to learn more of Talin’s history as it contains major spoilers!