Tavi was born in the Calderon Valley. He was raised at Bernardholt by his uncle Bernard and Bernard's sister 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".
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.
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, which awakens the queen. 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.
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.