Tavi, born Gaius Octavian and eventually known as Gaius Tavarus Magnus, was born in the Calderon Valley. He was raised at Bernardholt by his uncle Bernard and Bernard's sister, Tavi's mother, Isana. He is known throughout the valley as the oldest person ever who hasn't gained the ability to use furies. He's picked on for this inability, some calling him a "furyless freak".
The House of Gaius
As the last surviving scion on the House of Gaius and direct heir to the throne, Gaius Octavion hold the title of Princeps and eventually First Lord. As the Princeps, he bears the Scarlet and Azure of the House of Gaius and the Plunging Eagle of the Princeps; "Kitai had not picked up the royal standard of the Princeps, the plunging eagle, scarlet upon blue."
Furies of Calderon
Tavi is in search of a lost ram. While searching with his uncle Bernard, they find a lone Herdbane. Tavi manages to kill it, but Bernard is wounded in the fight. Tavi sends Bernard back to Bernardholt to be healed by Isana. The death of the Herdbane gets the attention of the Herdbane's mate and its owner, a Marat named Atsurak. Tavi leads them off of his uncle's return path, only to be caught in a furystorm. During the storm, he finds Amara a Cursor pretending to be a lost slave. They escape Atsurak's pursuit and find shelter in Princeps' Memoriam.
Return to Bernardholt
The next day, they return to Bernardholt to find that Bernard has lost his memory of the attack. Since Tavi is the only one who saw the creature, no one believes him, other than Amara. She decides to take the boy and his story to the Count of Calderon to warn him of an impending possible Marat attack. A local slave named Fade goes with them. Bernard eventually catches up with them, thinking Amara is kidnapping Tavi.
On the way to see the Count, the group is attacked by Kord and his sons Aric and Bittan. Kord believes they're going to the Count to report Bittan's rape of a local girl, which could cost Kord his steadholt. During the fight, Fidelias, Odiana, and Aldrick ex Gladius catch up and join the fight, attempting to prevent Tavi from reporting that he saw the Herdbane and the Marat. Tavi and Fade, only to be captured by the Marat.
The Marat allow Tavi to challenge them so that they won't kill him. Tavi's challenge is to collect the Blessing of Night from the Wax Forest, which is crawling with Wax Spiders. He must also do this before Doroga's daughter Kitai finishes the same challenge. While collecting the Blessing of Night, Tavi is forced to kill a large number of Wax Spiders, in the process, the queen awakens. During the escape from the Wax Forest, Kitai is injured and Tavi uses his collection of Blessing of Night to heal her. Kitai technically finishes the challenge first, but because he stopped to heal her, Tavi is declared successful in his challenge to the Marat. During a tense moment in the trial, Kitai bonded Tavi as her totem, which was a first in Marat history.
Saving the Garrison
Having passed the challenge, Tavi asks the Marat not to attack the Calderon garrison. Atsurak ignores him and continues to plan the assault. Doroga believes this is wrong and moves his clan as well as several others to the garrison to defend it from the attacking Marat. The reinforcements prove critical in holding the garrison. Because of his involvement with protecting Calderon Valley and, in fact, Alera itself, the First Lord Gaius Sextus sponsors Tavi's dream of attending the Academy, paying for everything while he's there. It's passively revealed that Gais Sextus is probably Tavi's grandfather.
The Ailing Lord Two years have passed. Tavi is in Alera Imperia at the Academy training to be a Cursor with Max. He is also serving as a messenger for Gaius Sextus. During Tavi's week of final examinations, Gaius collapses from exhaustion from repelling a series of storms the Canim have been sending while also tending to the many issues already plaguing the realm. Tavi arranges for Max to impersonate Gaius while Gaius is incapacitated.
During this time Ambassador Varg has been requesting to see Gaius. Eventually, Varg convinces Tavi to visit the Canim embassy. Varg tells Tavi that he's been hearing things in the wall and suggests Tavi investigate them. He overhears Varg's assistant Sarl talking with someone, but neither the topic nor the other person is made clear.
When Bullies attack
Tavi eventually learns that Isana has come to Alera Imperia, but has disappeared after an attack on the group she was in. While trying to discover her whereabouts, Tavi is attacked by Kalare's son Brencis, who is a bully to Tavi because Tavi has no furies. Max aids Tavi, but is injured during the fight. Kalare is the first to arrive on the scene and tells Lady Placida that Max assaulted Brencis. Tavi is not allowed to defend Max and Max is put in prison.
Protecting the First Lord
Because Max is so neccessary to impersonate Gaius, Tavi plans to break Max out. Tavi enlists the help of Kitai and they free Max. The next day, Tavi is returning from one of his classes to his room where Kitai is hiding. He finds Varg there who kidnaps Kitai and takes her down to The Deeps. There, he releases Kitai and shows her and Tavi a hidden Vord nest. Several Canim have been taken and Sarl appears to be colluding with them to attack Gaius. Tavi goes back to warn of the incoming attack. He manages, with the help of Kitai, to defend Gaius long enough for help to arrive and wipe out the taken Canim and Vord assault group.
Becoming an Officer
Two more years have passed. Tavi has graduated from the Academy and is now at a dig site in the ruins of Appia, a Romanic city. He's helping to reconstruct old Romanic technology. Max brings Tavi his new orders - he's being assigned to the newly formed First Aleran as the Third Subtribune Logistica. To hide his identity, he goes by the name of Rufus Scipio. On his way to the meeting site, Max trains him on legionnaire tactics.
Not long after Tavi arrives, Lady Antillus and her son Antillus Crassus arrive. During an exchange between Tavi and Lady Antillus, Tavi manages to pickpocket her coin purse. Inside, he finds a red stone of unknown origin. A couple of days later, during a routine staff meeting, the sky turns red. Out of nowhere a lightning bolt strikes the command tent. Everyone inside is killed. Lady Antillus is nowhere to be found.
To Defend the Realm
Because of the number of command personnel killed, Tavi takes a field promotion to Captain. While investigating Lady Antillus's departure, Tavi learns that the Canim have made landfall in very large numbers and are moving north toward Elinarch. Tavi moves the First Aleran to Elinarch to either defend it or destroy the bridge so the Canim cannot cross the Tiber river.
After an initial failed Canim raid, Tavi parleys at the enemy war camp. Tavi taunts Sarl in an attempt to discredit the Canim leader in front of his army. Sarl responds by calling forth the same lightning that destroyed the First Aleran leadership down on Tavi. The attack proves ineffective, but Tavi is still forced to retreat back to Elinarch. Tavi lays several traps for the Canim that prove very successful, but the Canim also utilize tactics that catch Tavi off guard. Tavi is forced to give up the bridge before he is able to destroy it.
Reclaiming the Bridge
Tavi eventually comes up with a plan to stop the Canim and to reclaim the bridge long enough to try an unproven tactic. If it fails, the bridge will be destroyed while Tavi and his group of volunteers are still on it, holding off the Canim. The unproven tactic proves successful and Tavi manages to kill Sarl during the assault. The remaining Canim leader, Nasaug, calls for a retreat, ending the battle.
Several twists occur outside of the battle, but are about Tavi. It's revealed that Isana is not his aunt, but his mother. His father was Gaius Septimus. While Tavi was still an infant, Isana used her fury to slow Tavi's growth so that his identity as heir to the throne could be hidden. Later, it's seen that Tavi suddenly has the power to furycraft when he accidentally turns off a furylamp.
Understanding the Canim
Tavi starts off about to pull off a very large-scale surprise attack that will kill many Canim warriors in a single strike. Before he can act, though, he sees additional troops with the Canim. The Free Aleran (a group of freed slaves) have joined up with the Canim and are marching with them. The trap laid for the Canim would also kill many of the Free Aleran. Tavi, realizing that this will cause further uprisings among the freed slaves, decides this is wrong and calls off the assault. Back at camp, Tavi recieves reports that the Canim have been capturing steadholts and sparing the lives of woodcrafters. He deduces that the Canim are building ships and are attempting to leave Alera. He dispatches Ehren to send word to Nasaug that he wishes to speak with the Cane.
Senator Arnos arrives at the campsite and draws very different conclusions to what Tavi's reports say. He thinks that all of the slaves who have risen up to join the Free Aleran deserved to die with the Canim and that Tavi should've attacked. He is also uninterested in talking peace with the Canim - the First Aleran and other reinforcing legions are needed to be part of a two-front assault on Lord Kalare, so he wants the Canim taken out as swiftly as possible. At this point, Araris tells Tavi that Isana is his mother and that he is the son of Gaius Septimus. Tavi takes the news very poorly - his mother has been lying to him his entire life.
A courier from the Free Aleran delivers a message to Tavi - a piece of Ehren's clothing along with a place and time for a meeting. Tavi goes and talk with Nasaug about the Canim going peacefully in exchange for returning Varg. Upon Tavi's return from the talks, Senator Arnos has Tavi arrested for conspiring with the enemy and suspicion of treason.
Tavi is freed from his captivity and escapes with Isana, Kitai, Araris, and Ehren by boat. During the voyage, they take a path through the known hunting grounds of the leviathans. Most ships that go through the area are protected by watercrafters hiding their presence. There, they're attacked by another ship carrying Senator Arnos's personal bodyguards. Tavi takes a group and kills the opposing ship's watercrafters, instantly attracting the attention of nearby leviathans. The enemy's ship is destroyed and Tavi's group escapes.
Tavi makes plans for as many of the Grey Tower's defenses as he can. He has Kitai steal many coldstones. At the Grey Tower, he renders two of the patrolmen unconciousness. Under disguise, he and Araris manage to enter, but still trip an unknown alarm. Tavi frees Varg from his cell and they make for the roof. Kitai and Isana have frozen a large amount of water on it, which keeps the gargoyles from awakening. Guards are pursuing them and manage to knock Varg to the grounds below, injuring the big Canim and rousing the fire furies that were set as guards. Tavi breaks a coldstone and forces the heat-stealing fury into his sword. With it, he manages to hold off the fire furies while he and Varg escape.
Tavi comes through the Canim fortress to deliver Varg to Nasaug. Nasaug now requires that the person responsible for continuing the campaign against the Canim be brought to justice. Tavi then returns to a beseiged set of Aleran legionnaires. Senator Arnos has been consistently making bad decisions and now it looks as there will be no escape. Upon entering, Tavi announces himself to be Gaius Octavian during a public Truthsaying. He then challenges Senator Arnos to Juris Macto. The Senator chooses Phrygiar Navarais as his champion. It's well established at this point that she is one of the deadliest people alive with a sword. It's also well established that she isn't mentally stable. Early on, Tavi is barely able to keep up and, as he suspected going in, she gives him no openings for counterattack. He then proceeds to goad her into attacking recklessly and that finally creates an opening which he uses to win the Juris Macto.
After the fight, Senator Arnos attempts to escape. He takes a woman hostage and threatens to kill her unless he is allowed to leave. Valiar Marcus, from cover, shoots a Canim bolt through them both, killing the Senator and seriously wounding the woman. The body of the Senator is presented to the Canim and hostilities cease while the Canim make their departure.
To the Canim homelands
In an effort to establish friendly diplomatic relations (and to keep him away from potential assassins), the First Lord sends Tavi to sail to the Canim homelands with Araris, Kitai, Max, Antillus Crassus, Varg, and Nasaug. During the voyage, the fleet hits a major storm out in the sea. Most of the ships are damaged and many were lost. Varg tells Tavi that they are near Canim lands, but not his own. His people are the only group of Canim who think of the Alerans as any kind of threat. The rest regard Alerans as vermin to be exterminated. With this in mind, he recommends they take port in Shuar for repairs.
The Vord Plague
Upon arrival, Varg introduces Tavi as Tavar to the Canim (to make him sound more Canish). They are taken to the Shuar leader Lararl. There, they discover that all of the Canim lands have been entirely overrun with the Vord and only the defenses of Shuar have held. Lararl intends to keep Tavi, Varg, and the entire fleet as hostages and use their blood to fight the Vord through the ritualists. Before he can do this, the Vord break through some of the Shuar defenses and are currently overrunning portions of the city-state.
Varg advises Lararl to let Tavi comb through what data they have on the Vord and let him come up with a plan for fighting the Vord. Tavi, after seeing certain patterns and knowing that the Vord queens communicate to their troops telepathically, formulates a plan and sends each piece of the plan in writing only to the people who will enact that piece.
Stopping the Queen
Based on their movements, Tavi deduces that there is very likely a Vord Queen near the breach in the Shuar defenses. He takes a small group and manages to find the Queen's lair. He goes in with the intent of reasoning with the Queen. When she fails to see things his way, he tries to kill her, but because of the sheer number of Vord around, he can't do it. Fortunately, Tavi's group realizes what his plan will be (at least for this portion) and aid in killing the Queen. The nearby Vord, now without a queen, are much less organized, though still very deadly in combat, but the group manages to escape.
Leaving the Canim Homelands
Tavi has sent orders to create a fortification near a port with an obvious weak spot for the Vord to attack, thus making defense a bit easier. While holding the fortification, icebergs near the port are being carved into massive transport ships to evacuate the additional Canim from Shuar. There are some minor complications, but Tavi manages to evacuate almost all of remaining the Canim. Afterward, aboard the Slive, Tavi's fury finally manifests and appears in front of him, calling herself Alera.