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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

B is for: Bailar the Blue (#AtoZchallenge)

Bailar the Blue is one of the central figures in the Accidental Sorcerers series. As the sorcerer training both his daughter Sura and her boyfriend Mik Dragonrider, he has his hands full keeping them focused. :-)

Early years

It is said that many sorcerers are the sons and daughters of farmers, and that was true in Bailar’s case. Born to wheat and rye farmers in the upper reaches of the Stolevan Matriarchy, along the edge of the Deep Forest, his early years were no different than most other children.

When he was five, a sickness ran through his small community. His mother delivered a stillborn daughter, whom they named Sura (for the summer sun). Bailar himself was stricken by a severe ear infection, that left him temporarily deaf. A Healer was able to restore his hearing, but his balance was permanently impaired. He learned how to cope, and attended school like any other child (education to age 13 is compulsory in the Stolevan Matriarchy). One game that local boys played was to dare their peers to walk into the Deep Forest. The Forest never held any terror for Bailar; he felt secure and balanced there, and would venture far deeper than any of the older boys.


On one of his walks in the Forest, Bailar fell. His hand clasped a fallen stick, and the trees told him to take it up as a staff. A truism among the older folk was that only a mage could hear the voices of the trees. With two older sisters, Bailar was unlikely to have much inheritance, and his balance would not allow him to be a good roustabout (farm hand for hire). He seized an opportunity for a better life: he boarded the next barge going downriver, debarked at Exidy, and went to the home of Gilsen the White. Gilsen agreed to take him as an apprentice.

It was that first summer that Bailar ran into trouble. Gilsen took him to the Gathering of the Conclave in Queensport; it was there that Bailar discovered Captain Chelinn’s An Account of Other Worlds. Carried away by stories of great deeds and battles (combat magic had been put aside four hundred years ago), Bailar often neglected his studies in favor of teaching himself spells with little or no application in modern days. The result was that he barely passed the tests given to all apprentices after six years, earning the blue sash of Water magic when he demonstrated his ability to call the water by using a combat spell that launched huge gouts of water high into the air.

Days later, before the Gathering was over, Gilsen died in his sleep. Perhaps sensing that he was about to begin the longest journey, the one from which there is no return, he wrote two letters. In the first, addressed to the Conclave, he invoked his privilege to choose his successor as Sorcerer of Exidy, and he named Bailar. The second was to Bailar himself, in which Gilsen left Bailar all of his worldly goods (including his house) and a great deal of practical advice. As Gilsen had no daughters, Matriarchy law allowed him to inherit the entire property. While the Protectors were reluctant to let a new sorcerer take the post, especially one who had showed little interest in practical magic, the Conclave’s traditions demanded they respect the dying wishes of one of their own.

Early Adult Life

Bailar settled into his role as Sorcerer of Exidy. As his house was across the Wide River from Exidy proper, his quiet life allowed him to catch up on studies that he had neglected.

One summer morning, he found an infant girl on his doorstep, whom he named for his stillborn sister. His life began to change—and changed even more some twelve years later, when a boy rode an ice dragon to his door…

Next: C is for: Camac That Was


  1. Bailar sounds like an interesting character, and ending with dragons is always a good thing. ;)

    His name reminds me a lot of Baelor, from mythology. Hmmm.

  2. Bailar is definitely a lovable character. I didn't realize until this article, though, why he was called the Blue.

  3. That sounds like a wonderful character. Especially when a dragon flew into his life. I got a soft spot for dragons.

  4. I'm nearly about to start Accidental Sorcerers. Been resting in my reader for a bit.

  5. I've always liked Bailar and its good to get the background on him. ^_^

  6. Stephanie, Bailar's character has been around, in one form or another, longer even than Termag itself. Google turned up a lot of Game of Thrones references.

    Chuck, when new sorcerers go through testing, the testers assign them a "primary element," the one where they demonstrate the best strength. That determines their sash color (and title): brown for Earth, white for Air, red for Fire, blue for Water. One of those infodump things. ;-)

    Thanks, Sonia. Bailar is fortunately well-versed in dragonlore, so he was able to cover that "WTF?" reaction when Mik came to him.

    Hope you enjoy it, David! And if not, well, reviewers said the next ones get better. :-P

    Thanks, Wendy! Are you doing A to Z? I checked your blog and it looked like a peripheral kind of post.

    Helen, I'm taking the opportunity to infodump all over the place this month. :-D


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