One of Princeps Gaius Septimus’ singulares, Araris Valerian is brother to Sir Miles, and arguably the greatest swordsman of his generation. During First Calderon, Septimus tasked Araris with protecting Isana. After the battle, he disguises himself as a coward and sells himself into slavery, where Bernard purchases him. Araris works as a blacksmith and tinker at Bernardholt, where he poses as a simpleton named Fade, continuing in his duty to his lord and lady—Septimus’ final wishes and Isana, respectively.
Araris is a powerful metal crafter, as shown not only by his incredible swordsmanship, but by being one of only two people shown to be to able to manifest metal crafting. The other being Gaius Sextus himself.
Furies of Calderon[edit | edit source]
When Tavi drinks a lot of water to wake himself early, Fade alerts Bernard of the old Legion trick. Later, during the furystorm when Kord and his sons work their crafting on everyone in Bernardholt, Fade disrupts it by spilling soup on Bittan. He accompanies Tavi and Amara in their flight from Bernardholt to the Rillwater, where he and Tavi escape through the forest on the eastern side of the ford. He and Tavi are captured, and more and more of Araris’ knowledge and personality begin to show through the façade of Fade’s persona. Fade is nearly constantly there to support Tavi, and when Tavi faces Aldrick on Garrison’s walls, Fade intervenes, defeating Aldrick handily. However, even a great swordsman can be outthought, and Fidelias uses a rope to hang Fade, nearly killing him. Odiana, fulfilling a debt to Isana, saves Fade’s life in the immediate aftermath of Second Calderon. Afterward, Fade presents Tavi with the blade Tavi had taken from the Princeps’ Memoriam, an act of fealty, and Tavi realizes Fade is really Araris Valerian. Gaius Sextus walks in on this scene, and offers to purchase Fade from Bernard and Isana during the ceremonies the following day, though Isana refuses. While the ceremonies took place, Fade accompanied Tavi in his driving of Dodger's little flock home.