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  • Julian M Armstrong

The Chronicles of Tala: Main Characters – 1. Glorhelm

Glorhelm, elven Prince of Sormina, home of the High Elves. Son of Arnhelm and Gloreyna, his named is still remembered by some across Tala for his exploits in the wars against Kankarion’s forces. He is a natural leader, expert swordsman and an archer with pinpoint accuracy, as well as having a handful of spells over fire, ice and wakefulness. That could be one perception of Glorhelm, the de facto leader of the party tasked with this monumental quest. Or there is also another...

Glorhelm, exiled elven Prince of Sormina, estranged from his austere and dour father, Arnhelm and with a life that belongs more in history scrolls than the present day. Wracked with self-doubt and a longing for his homeland, he is an elf who has fallen from the high born role expected of him. He certainly does not view himself as a hero as he wanders Tala like a lost soul, taking on any task that will momentarily blot out memories of the past.

Both of these views of Glorhelm are accurate and there lies the dichotomy of his personality. To understand him more, it is probably best to understand his childhood in Sormina, where he grew up under a weight of expectation and ritual. Perfection was expected of him and anything less would be a sign of personal weakness, so it was only with the outbreak of war that the rigidity and predictability of his existence was broken. Suddenly, the rituals were put aside and his leadership proved crucial in the routing (but not destruction) of Kankarion’s armies.

Against the wishes of his father, he stayed to become Castellan of Kordofan Castle, the huge fortress built with the aid of dwarven engineers, to watch on the east. Yet there was nothing to watch and eventually, Arnhelm demanded that his son return to the rituals and ceremonies that were expected of him. Instead, Glorhelm walked out of Kordofan Castle and headed north and east, a journey he has spoken little about, even to his closest companions.

It could be seen that his wandering is an attempt to forget about any kind of a return, a way of buying time and trying to convince himself, that he is no longer needed in his homeland. At the start of Book 1, The Southren Road, Glorhelm is undoubtedly at a low ebb and gripped by doubts about everything. The quest gives him a clear focus for the first time in years and his encounter with Arnhelm, via the Summoning Bowls in the Forest of Marzja, gives him the chance to break free.

Whilst outside of Tala, he is again entirely focussed on the quest, but as soon as they return, the old doubts begin to creep in. In Book 5, The Ruins of War, he suffers a major crisis that nearly breaks him, but he is made of sterner stuff than most, although he must accept that he needs to change to progress.

So, as a character, Glorhelm can be strong, decisive and fearless. He can also be aloof, patronising and plagued with self-doubt. There is a lot more to him than some hero, striding across Tala, righting wrongs and putting evil to the sword.

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