House of Haldane (fictional)

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Primary sources Template:In-universe The House of Haldane is a fictional royal family in the Deryni series of historical fantasy novels by Katherine Kurtz. For most of the series, the Haldanes are the ruling family of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, and members of the family most often serve as primary or secondary protagonists in the plots of the novels.

Although the Haldane line is predominantly human, various marriages throughout the series occasionally introduce varying amounts of Deryni heritage into the family. Nonetheless, the Haldane family itself carries the genetic ability to assume the full range of Deryni powers through participation in an arcane ritual. Known as the "Haldane potential", this hereditary trait first appears in the novel Deryni Rising, though its discovery two centuries earlier is detailed in a later novel, Camber of Culdi.

Counts of Haldane

The family is founded by Halbert the Dane in the early fifth century, almost five hundred years before the events of Camber of Culdi. Halbert conquers the area surrounding the city of Valoret and establishes himself as the first Count of Haldane in 411. Over the next two and a half centuries, Halbert's descendants expand the borders of their lands through constant warfare with the neighboring states. During this period, thirteen Counts of Haldane rule in unbroken succession, all descended from Halbert.

Early Kings of Gwynedd


Augarin Alexander Haldane becomes the fourteenth Count of Haldane upon the death of his older brother in 640. During the early years of his reign, Augarin is determined to free the Holy Church from the foreign control of the Bremagni church. He eventually succeeds in this goal after conquering the neighboring lands of Carthane five years later. Following this victory, at the age of 33, Augarin proclaims himself High King of Haldane on May 1, 645. He quickly established a new religious hierarchy in Valoret, arranging for his younger brother to be elected the first independent Archbishop of Valoret. On January 1, 647, Augarin issues a royal proclamation officially changing the name of his new kingdom to Gwynedd. The remainder of Augarin's reign is spent securing the new realm he created and fighting off several foreign invasions. Known as "The Father of Gwynedd", his reign as king lasts for almost 28 years, and Augarin dies at the age of 61 in 673. He marries twice, producing ten children, and he is succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Aidan.


Aidan Alexander Haldane is the second King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 45 in 673. His claim to the throne is challenged by his half-brother, Prince Donal, who claims that their father's first marriage was illegal. However, an ecclesiastical court rules that the marriage was valid, and Aidan ascends the throne. The following year, Aidan moves the capital of the kingdom from its traditional home in Valoret to the city of Rhemuth. He engages in a series of successful military campaigns that double the size of the kingdom, including the capture of Grecotha in 678 and the defeat of Carbury in 679, after which time he assumes the secondary title of Lord of the Purple March. However, his efforts to further expand his kingdom northward are halted by a series of defeats by the Counts of Eastmarch and Southmarch the following decade. After a reign of 25 years, Aidan is killed at the Battle of Ebor in 698 at the age of 70. He marries once, producing seven children, and he is succeeded by his half-brother, Prince Llarik.


Llarik Broccan Haldane is the third King of Gwynedd, ascending the throne in 698 among a power struggle over the legitimate succession. King Aidan's son and heir, Prince Ifor, is severely wounded in the battle which kills his father and not expected to survive, prompting his uncle, Prince Bearand, to name himself Protector of the Throne. However, Ifor manages to stay alive, refusing to abdicate his right to the crown. As the Royal Council debates the succession, Llarik and Bearand argue until the enraged Bearand collapses, enabling Llarik to become Protector of the Throne. Both Ifor and Bearand die over the next month, but the exact causes of their deaths remains a mystery. Some rumors claim that each died of their injuries, but others blame Llarik for their deaths.

With his nephew and half-brother dead, Llarik is formally crowned King of Gwynedd on September 2, 698. At the age of 47, he is the oldest Haldane to ascend the throne, and he immediately embarks on a ruthless campaign against those he perceives as his enemies. Llarik not only arrests and executes numerous nobles, courtiers, and officials, but he also accuses two of his sons, Princes Dolon and Jestyn, of high treason and has them executed as well. Although the kingdom is plagued by a series of barbarian raids during his reign, Llarik's lack of military experience and his distrust of his generals results in the destruction of several Gwyneddan cities. Over the years, Llarik sinks deeper into paranoia and madness, eventually becoming known as "Llarik the Cruel." After a reign of over twenty years, Llarik falls from a high window and dies. At the time, it is rumored that the king's death may not be an accident, but the work of the king's son, Prince Ryons, who had learned that his father was planning on arresting and executing him. Llarik dies at the age of 67 in 719. He marries twice, producing thirteen children, and he is succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Prince Ryons.


Ryons Gospatric Haldane is the fourth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 18 in 719. Rumors at the time claim that the death of Ryons' father, King Llarik, may not have been an accident, since it is believed that Ryons had learned of his father's plan to have his son arrested and executed. Nonetheless, few in Gwynedd mourn Llarik's death, and most rejoice in the coronation of a new king. Most of Ryons' reign is dedicated to expelling the foreign invaders who have plagued the kingdom since his father's reign. Ryons is determined to restore the strength of his realm, but the strength of the invaders makes them difficult to defeat, and the king spends much of his reign in a constant series of battles. After a reign of over seventeen years, Ryons is killed in battle near the city of Nyford at the age of 36 in 736. He marries once, producing five children, and he is succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Bearand.


Bearand Llarik Donal Haldane is the fifth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 15 in 736. He continues his father's campaigns against the barbarian invaders and quickly proves to be a successful field general. His most notable victory occurs in 755, when his assault on the city of Kharthat destroys both the Moorish fleet and their shipyards, permanently driving the Moorish forces from Gwynedd. The Archbishop of Valoret bestows the title of "Defender of the Realm" upon Bearand for his successes on the battlefield, and his people come to refer to him as "Saint Bearand." After a reign of 58 years, Bearand dies at the age 74 in 794. His reign is the longest tenure of any King of Gwynedd, and he is the oldest monarch in the history of the realm. He marries twice, producing twelve children, and he is succeeded by his only surviving son, Prince Ifor. King Bearand is widely regarded as one of the greatest kings in the history of Gwynedd, and he is credited with restoring the strength and prominence of the kingdom, both of which had suffered greatly during the reign of his grandfather. In 820, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, Bearand is formally canonized as Saint Bearand by the Holy Church of Gwynedd.


Ifor Augarin Niall Haldane is the sixth King of Gwynedd, inheriting the throne from his father at the age of sixteen in 794. During the early years of his reign, Ifor makes several trips to foreign lands, where he is exposed to numerous new technologies and sciences that he brings back to Gwynedd. His governmental reforms and horticultural improvements throughout his reign revolutionize many aspects of life throughout the kingdom. Ifor's time on the throne is mostly peaceful, but it eventually ends in a bloody coup. In 822, Prince Festil Furstán of Torenth launches a surprise attack on the capital of Rhemuth and deposes the House of Haldane from the throne of Gwynedd. Most of the royal family is killed in the attack, but the 2-year-old Prince Aidan is smuggled out of the palace by a servant. After a reign of 27 years, Ifor dies at the age of 44 in 822. He marries once, producing seven children, but only Aidan survives the Festillic Coup.

The Festillic Interregnum

Aidan Augarin

Aidan Augarin Ifor Haldane is the fifth child and youngest son of King Ifor Haldane. When the rest of his family is slain in the Festillic coup of 822, Aidan becomes the sole Haldane heir to the throne of Gwynedd. The two-year-old prince is smuggled out of the palace by a loyal servant during the coup and secretly raised as the servant's son to protect his identity. Aidan lives most of his life under the name Daniel Draper, becoming a successful wool merchant in the city of Valoret. Although he secures the royal succession for another generation, Aidan makes no attempt to regain his family's throne. On his deathbed, he confesses his true identity to his physician, the Deryni Healer Rhys Thuryn, and it is this revelation that eventually leads to the Haldane Restoration of 904. Aidan dies at the age of 83 in 903, with his single marriage having produced three children.

Alroy Bearand

Alroy Bearand Ifor Haldane is the only son and heir of Prince Aidan Augarin Haldane, the sole Haldane survivor of the Festillic coup of 822. His royal heritage is concealed throughout his life, and he lives under the name Royston Draper while working with his father in the wool trade. Alroy has no opportunity to reclaim his family's throne, but he does marry and produce a legitimate son, thus securing the Haldane succession. Alroy dies in the Great Plague of 878 at the age of 34.

Restored Kings of Gwynedd

Cinhil I


Alroy Bearand Brion Haldane is the thirteenth King of Gwynedd, becoming the first monarch to ascend to the throne before the legal age of fourteen years when he succeeds his father at the age of 12 in 917. He is the eighth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the second Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. Alroy is a weak and sickly child from birth, and he spends much of life plagued by recurring problems with his health. His Haldane potential is set by his father shortly before the latter's death, but Alroy's arcane abilities never truly develop after he ascends the throne. During the first two years of Alroy's reign, his royal authority is wielded by a Regency Council of human lords who use their power to instigate a violent wave of persecutions against Deryni throughout the realm. Even though Alroy eventually attains his legal majority at the age of 14, his lords of state keep the young king constantly medicated to prevent any opposition to their will. After a reign of only four years, Alroy's health finally fails him and he dies at the age of 16 in 921, becoming the youngest King of Gwynedd to die on the throne. He never marries, nor does he produce any children. He is succeeded by his younger twin brother, Prince Javan Haldane, making the brothers the only pair of twins to both ascend the throne. Additionally, Alroy is the first of only two Haldane kings to be succeeded by two of his brothers, Javan and Rhys Michael. (The second monarch to be followed by two successive brothers in King Nygel, who is succeeded by King Jasher and King Cluim.)


Rhys Michael


Owain Javan Cinhil Haldane is the sixteenth King of Gwynedd, becoming the youngest king in the history of Gwynedd when he succeeds his father at the age of four in 928. He is the eleventh member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the fifth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. He is also the second of three Kings of Gwynedd to ascend the throne before the legal age of fourteen years. (The others are King Alroy and King Kelson.) Following the death of his father, Owain's Haldane potential is activated by Queen Michaela Drummond and Lady Rhysel Thuryn. Immediately following his father's funeral, an armed battle erupts between factions of the young king's Regency Council. Owain is briefly held hostage by Earl Rhun von Horthy, but he is rescued by his uncle, Sir Cathan Drummond. A new Regency Council, led by Queen Michaela, is established shortly thereafter, and it rules in the name of the king until Owain attains his legal majority in 938. Ten years later, Owain is killed while attempting to halt the invasion of Marek I Furstán-Festil, the second Festillic Pretender. After a reign of almost twenty years, Owain dies at the age of 24 in 948. He marries once, producing one daughter, and he is succeeded by his younger brother, Prince Uthyr.


Uthyr Michael Richard Haldane is the seventeenth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his brother at the age of nineteen in 948. He is the twelfth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the sixth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. After his brother's death, Uthyr takes command of the royal army and defeats the invading forces of the Festillic Pretender, Marek I Furstán-Festil. Much of Uthyr's reign is spent repairing the damage caused by the invasion, efforts which include harsh penalties for those Gwyneddan nobles who supported the invasion. He sends peace overtures to King Arion I Furstán of Torenth, and, in 955, the Torenthi monarch pledges to never support another Festillic Pretender during his lifetime. After a reign of 32 years, Uthyr dies at the age of 51 in 980. He marries once, producing seven children, and he is succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Nygel.


Nygel Rhys Owain Haldane is the eighteenth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 31 in 980. He is the thirteenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the seventh consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. Less than three years after his accession to the throne, Nygel is forced to deal with an invasion by Imre II Furstán-Festil, the third Festillic Pretender. In his haste to meet the invaders, Nygel departs Rhemuth with only part of the royal army, but he later gathers additional forces while marching past Valoret. Nonetheless, the Gwyneddan forces are soundly defeated when they engage the Festillic invaders a short time later, and Nygel dies from his wounds while his surviving forces attempt to escape under the cover of night. After a reign of just over three years, Nygel dies at the age of 34 in 983. He marries once, producing five children, and he is succeeded by his younger brother, Prince Jasher. Nygel is the second King of Gwynedd to be succeeded by two of his brothers, Jasher and Cluim. The first such monarch is King Alroy.


Jasher Owain Cinhil Haldane is the nineteenth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his brother at the age of 31 in 983. He is the fourteenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the eighth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. He ascends the throne after his elder brother is killed while battling the invasion of the third Festillic Pretender, Imre II Furstán-Festil. Jasher succeeds in halting the advance of the invading forces shortly after his brother's death, but further warfare is halted by fierce winter conditions. The war continues the following year, with the decisive battle occurring at Grecotha in early August. When the invaders arrive at the city, Jasher successfully outmaneuvers them in the middle of the night and soundly defeats them the following day. The Gwyneddan army drives the invaders back toward the border, but the onset of winter once again halts the war. By late spring of 985, the Gwyneddan army has cornered the last of the Pretender's forces in the city of Rengarth. After a month-long siege and an unsuccessful attack on the city walls, the king personally leads the final assault on Rengarth. Although the attack is successful is finally defeating the last of the Festillic forces, Jasher is killed during the battle. After a reign of almost three years, Jasher dies at the age of 33 in 985. He never marries, and he is succeeded by his younger brother, Prince Cluim. Jasher is the second King of Gwynedd to both succeed and precede one of his brothers on the throne of Gwynedd. The first such monarch is King Javan, who succeeded his brother Alroy and was followed by his brother Rhys Michael.


Cluim Michael Reginaud Haldane is the twentieth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his brother at the age of 32 in 985. He is the fifteenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the ninth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. Following the invasion of the third Festillic Pretender, Imre II Furstán-Festil, Cluim spends the next several years serving in the Gwyneddan army as both a field general and the second-in-command of his elder brother. After King Jasher's death at the Battle of Rengarth in 985, Cluim takes command of the Gwyneddan army and quickly brings the war to a successful conclusion. In addition to repairing the extensive damage of the invasion, the new king spends much of his reign attempting to secure Gwynedd's borders through peaceful means, successfully negotiating several treaties with neighboring lands. After a reign of over nine years, Cluim dies at the age of 41 in 994. He marries once, producing six children, and he is succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Urien. Cluim is the second King of Gwynedd to succeed two of his brothers on the throne. The first such monarch is King Rhys Michael, who followed his brothers Alroy and Javan.


Urien Owain Rhys Michael Haldane is the twenty-first King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 20 in 994. He is the sixteenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the tenth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. For most of Urien's reign, Gwynedd enjoys peaceful relations with its neighbors, providing an extended period of tranquil prosperity throughout the realm. During this time, Urien actively seeks to establish stronger alliances with his neighbors by arranging marriages between his children and other royal houses. Nonetheless, Urien's peaceful reign is ended in 1025, when Gwynedd faces the invading forces of Prince Jolyon II Quinnell of Meara, King Kyprian II Furstán of Torenth, and Marek II Furstán-Festil, the fifth Festillic Pretender. Urien places the royal army under the control of his eldest son and heir, Prince Cinhil, and gives him full authority to defend the realm. The king takes on only a small personal role in the campaign, often appearing prior to major battles to inspire the Gwyneddan forces, but he is eventually killed while fighting the enemy at the Battle of Killingford. After a reign of over thirty years, Urien dies at the age of 51 in 1025. He marries once, producing eleven children, and he is succeeded by his son, Prince Cinhil.

Cinhil II

Cinhil II Aymeric Nygel Haldane is the twenty-second King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 36 in 1025. He is the seventeenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the eleventh consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. Anticipating the joint invasion of Prince Jolyon II Quinnell of Meara, King Kyprian II Furstán of Torenth, and Marek II Furstán-Festil, the fifth Festillic Pretender, King Urien places Cinhil in command of the royal army in 1025. Cinhil defeats the Mearan forces in late May, then quickly moves to meet the thrust of the Torenthi-Festillic forces. The two armies clash several weeks later, and Cinhil defeats the invaders in a brutal, three-day battle that claims thousands of lives. Although the Festillic Pretender and his heir are both killed, King Urien also dies on the last day of the battle, leaving the crown to Cinhil. With his victorious army severely wounded and decimated, the new king desperately tries to save as many of his soldiers as possible. However, his tireless efforts eventually claim his life, and Cinhil collapses and dies after a reign of only one week, the shortest reign of any King of Gwynedd. Due to the short length of his reign, he is also the only King of Gwynedd to never undergo a formal coronation. He marries once, producing three children, and he is succeeded by his younger brother, Prince Malcolm.


Malcolm Congal Aidan Julian Haldane is the twenty-third King of Gwynedd, succeeding his brother at the age of 16 in 1025. He is the eighteenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the twelfth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. He was intended to be trained for a life in the Church, but he is instead called into military service during the joint invasion by Meara and Torenth in 1025. After his father's death at the Battle of Killingford, the crown passes to his elder brother, King Cinhil II. However, Cinhil dies only a week later, and Malcolm ascends to the throne.

As King, Malcolm moves quickly to repair the damage of the invasion by amending the inheritance laws and re-organizing the surviving army. However, his marriage to a Mearan princess fails to bring peace to the land, and Malcolm is forced to lead a campaign into Meara in 1027. Two decades of relative peace follow, enabling many of Gwynedd's wounds to be healed, but recurring Mearan partisanship prompts Malcolm to lead a second campaign into the land in 1044, at which point he captures and executes the Mearan Pretender and her husband. Despite the precipitous circumstances facing the kingdom at the time of his coronation, Malcolm succeeds in securing the borders of Gwynedd, rebuilding its economy, and restoring its peerage. After a reign of almost 49 years, Malcolm dies at the age of 65 in 1074. He marries twice, producing thirteen children, and he also legitimizes four children that are the result of an extramarital affair. He is succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Donal Blaine.

Donal Blaine

Donal Blaine Aidan Cinhil Haldane is the twenty-fourth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 43 in 1074. He is the nineteenth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the thirteenth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. Most of Donal's reign is relatively peaceful, but he does embark on campaigns to put down Mearan revolts in 1076 and 1089. In addition, Gwynedd and Torenth also engage in several minor border skirmishes over the years, but none of the incidents escalate any further. As a character, Donal is portrayed as a firm and uncompromising ruler, one who will go to any lengths to defend his family and his realm. Although he is acknowledged as a stubborn and demanding taskmaster, he is also fair and just, always willing to reward loyal service. His Haldane potential is fully activated before the events of In the King's Service, but the exact circumstances regarding this event remain a mystery. Determined to provide a Deryni protector for his sons, Donal secretly fathers a child on the wife of one of his Deryni courtiers, but the child is later killed. The king tries to repeat the experiment with the unwitting Lady Alyce de Corwyn de Morgan, but she refuses to bear his child and instead pledges her unborn son to the service of the royal house. After the birth of Alyce's son, Alaric Morgan, Donal enlists Alyce's services to prepare both Alaric and Prince Brion for the arcane legacies they will eventually inherit. Donal eventually succeeds in giving both Alyce and Alaric the means to activate Brion's Haldane potential, but the aging king falls ill soon thereafter. After a reign of over 21 years, Donal dies at the age of 65 in 1095. He marries twice [1st to Dulchesse de Vesan of Vezaire and 2nd to Richeldis Gruffud-MacFaolan of Howicce and Llannedd], producing six children [by 2nd marriage: Brion, Blaine, Xenia, Nigel, Silke, and Joachim], but he also legitimizes three children from various extramarital affairs [by Lady Bellafane Palfey—Cyana; by Lady Elyse de Mont-Jesus—Desideria; and by an unknown mistress—Ferdinand]. In addition, he secretly fathers another child [Krispin (1082–1091)] through an affair with Lady Jessamy MacAthan. Donal is succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Brion.


Brion Donal Cinhil Urien Haldane is the twenty-fifth King of Gwynedd, succeeding his father at the age of 14 in 1095. He is the twentieth member of the House of Haldane to sit upon the throne of Gwynedd, and the fourteenth consecutive Haldane king since the end of the Festillic Interregnum. Brion is depicted as a natural-born leader from an early age, well-trained by his father to be a strong and decisive monarch. Shortly after King Donal's death, Lady Alyce de Corwyn de Morgan attempts to activate Brion's Haldane potential, but she is too ill with puerperal sepsis to fully complete the procedure and she eventually dies from the strain. Several months later, an assassination attempt on the king is foiled by Alyce's husband, Lord Kenneth Morgan. The early years of Brion's reign are relatively peaceful, and he forms a close friendship with Alyce and Kenneth's son, Alaric Morgan. Brion eventually appoints Alaric as his personal squire, protecting the young Deryni at court until Alaric is old enough to inherit the Duchy of Corwyn.

After ten years on the throne, Brion mounts a military expedition to put down the rebellion of Earl Rorik III of Eastmarch, during which time he is challenged by Hogan Furstán-Festil, the eleventh Festillic Pretender. Alaric succeeds in fully activating Brion's arcane powers, and the king defeats the Pretender in magical combat that same day. Despite his victory, Brion's acquisition of magical powers becomes a constant point of contention with his wife, Queen Jehana, who considers them heretical. Nonetheless, Brion and Jehana eventually reconcile.

Despite leading a military force into Meara the following year, the rest of Brion's reign is largely peaceful and prosperous. He is eventually murdered by Hogan's daughter, Charissa Furstána-Festila, who uses her magic to slay the king and avenge her father. After 25 years on the throne of Gwynedd, Brion is killed at the age of 39 in 1120, dying in the arms of his younger brother, Prince Nigel. Brion marries once, producing two children, and he is succeeded by his only son and heir, Prince Kelson.


Notable Queens of Gwynedd


Michaela Jocelyne Drummond is the wife of King Rhys Michael Haldane and the mother of both King Owain and King Uthyr. Although born of a Deryni heritage, Michaela's arcane talents are blocked by Lord Tavis O'Neill in 918 to protect her from the anti-Deryni policies of King Alroy's Regency Council. She begins developing a relationship with Rhys Michael shortly before the accession of Javan Haldane to the throne of Gwynedd in 921, unaware that their eventual marriage is secretly arranged by Javan's enemies. After the lords of state murder Javan and place Rhys Michael on the throne the following year, the stress of the events causes Michaela to miscarry her first child. She and her husband spend the next six years as prisoners of the great lords, but they eventually produce two more children, Princes Owain and Uthyr. Michaela's Deryni powers are unblocked by Tieg Thuryn in 928, and she assists in the activation of Rhys Michael's Haldane potential. After her husband's death, a power struggle erupts between members of the Regency Council, and Michaela is briefly held hostage by Earl Tammaron Fitz-Arthur. However, Michaela uses her magical abilities to kill Tammaron, and most of the great lords are killed or arrested. For the next decade, Michaela leads the Regency Council of King Owain, which is eventually disbanded when he attains his legal majority. Michaela dies at the age of 80 in 989, during the reign of her grandson, King Cluim.


Jehane-Julienne-Adélaïde de Besançon is King Brion Haldane's queen and mother of King Kelson. Born a Bremagni princess, she marries Brion at the age of 15 in 1104. The following year, after Brion's defeat of the Festillic Pretender Hogan Furstán-Festil, Jehana flees to an abbey when she learns Brion used magic to secure his victory. Although the royal couple eventually reconciles, Jehana's hatred of Deryni is a recurring theme of her character. She has a particular antipathy toward Brion's closest friend, Duke Alaric Morgan of Corwyn. After Brion's death in 1120, Jehana unsuccessfully attempts to prevent Morgan from activating Kelson's Haldane potential. She believes such powers are evil and heretical. Despite her beliefs, Jehana's love for her son drives her to reveal her own Deryni heritage at Kelson's coronation, when she uses her powers to defend him against the Festillic Pretender Charissa Furstána-Festila.

Shamed by the revelation of her Deryni heritage, Jehana retreats back to an abbey, where she spends the next several years (and novels) engaged in religious devotions that she believes will expunge her "evil" Deryni heritage. Her conflict about her heritage is a recurring theme during this time. She loves her son, but is horrified by magic and Kelson's continued use of it. She makes continual, unwelcome attempts to reform Kelson, driven by her own self-loathing. She is troubled by manifestations of her powers, but utilizes them upon occasion, such as passing on information she gains about a Torenthi assassination plot against Prince Nigel. The plot is foiled as a result. Jehana's character doesn't change much until the events depicted in King Kelson's Bride, almost eight years after Kelson's coronation. While Kelson is away in Torenth, Jehana chances upon a young Deryni priest and an elderly Deryni scholar, Barrett de Laney. Barrett de Laney, who martyred himself (by sacrificing his vision) to save Deryni children, impresses Jehana and helps her to appreciate her heritage. Her beliefs about the inherent evil of magic change by the time Kelson returns. Finally, at the age of 39, she begins to explore and develop her abilities. She and Lord Barrett de Laney marry and have a daughter together.


Araxie Léan Haldane is wife and queen to King Kelson Haldane and the daughter of Prince Richard Haldane. After Richard's death in 1114, Araxie's mother relocates her family to Orsal and Tralia, where Araxie remains for much of her early life. She eventually befriends Princess Rothana of Nur Hallaj, who convinces Araxie to consider marriage with her first cousin (once removed), King Kelson. Araxie accepts Kelson's proposal, and she returns to Rhemuth with the king a short time later. Araxie quickly displays her natural talent for diplomacy with wise and fruitful advice to her husband on several familial problems, and real love blossoms between them. Araxie marries Kelson at the age of 18 in 1128 and becomes the first member of the House of Haldane to be crowned Queen of Gwynedd. In addition to her genetic Haldane potential, Araxie also carries an unspecified amount of Deryni blood from her maternal line. Araxie's marriage with Kelson has produced twin daughters and a son as of 1130..

Other notable Haldanes


Richard Bearand Rhupert Cinhil Haldane is the son of King Malcolm Haldane and the younger half-brother of King Donal Blaine Haldane. In addition to being a Prince of Gwynedd, he is also the tenth Duke of Carthmoor and the thirteenth Earl of Culdi. Richard is trained as a soldier from an early age, and he spends much of his life serving in the army. He briefly serves as Royal Governor of Meara, during which time he narrowly survives an assassination attempt, and he leads military expeditions into both Meara and Torenth on behalf of his brother. He mentors his nephew King Brion following the death of King Donal Blaine, serving as Prince Regent during Brion's absences and accompanying Brion's campaign into Eastmarch in 1105. Richard retires from active service following the birth of Prince Kelson the following year, spending much of his remaining life on his private estates with his family. Richard dies at the age of 58 in 1114, having married once and fathered three children. His second daughter, Princess Araxie, later becomes Queen of Gwynedd when she marries King Kelson in 1128.


Nigel Cluim Gwydion Rhys Haldane is the second surviving son of King Donal Blaine Haldane, the younger brother of King Brion Haldane, and the uncle of King Kelson Haldane. In addition to being a Prince of Gwynedd, Nigel is also the eleventh Duke of Carthmoor. During his youth, he receives extensive military training from his uncle, Prince Richard Haldane, and he serves in the royal army during King Brion's expedition into Eastmarch in 1105. Following Richard's retirement the following year, the 19-year-old Nigel is appointed Commander of the Royal Army, and he later succeeds Richard as Duke of Carthmoor in 1114.

After Brion is murdered in 1120, dying in his brother's arms, Nigel serves as a steadfast mentor to King Kelson, providing unwavering support for his nephew during the early years of his reign. Kelson activates Nigel's Haldane potential in 1124, and Nigel is appointed Prince Regent during Kelson's occasional absences from Rhemuth over the following years. When Kelson is believed to have been killed in 1125, several courtiers urge Nigel to accept coronation as King of Gwynedd, but he refuses to be crowned immediately. Shortly thereafter, he is attacked by his eldest son, Prince Conall,who uses his own arcane powers to lock Nigel into a coma. Nigel is restored to health following Kelson's return to Rhemuth, and he later testifies against Conall at his son's trial. For the next three years, Nigel's anger at his son's betrayal leads to his rejection of Conall's children. However, he is later convinced to soften his stance, and he eventually accepts his grandchildren at court. As of 1130, the 43-year-old Nigel has married once, producing five children, but his heir to the Duchy of Carthmoor is his grandson, Prince Albin. His second son, Prince Rory, serves as Duke of Ratharkin and Viceroy of Meara, and his third son, Prince Payne, serves as Duke of Travlum. In addition, two of Nigel's children are betrothed to the royal Torenthi House of Furstán. King Liam Lajos II is betrothed to Princess Eirian, Nigel's eldest daughter, and Payne is engaged to Princess Stanisha, Liam Lajos' younger sister.

As a character, Nigel is portrayed as one of the noblest knights in the Eleven Kingdoms. Known as the "Iron Duke", he is a skilled military tactician and a natural-born leader who inspires confidence and respect in his soldiers, a trait he shares with both Brion and Kelson. However, he is also honorable and kind, displaying unswerving loyalty to the throne whether it is occupied by his father, his brother, or his nephew. Despite his close proximity to the crown throughout his life, Nigel has no desire to be king, preferring the life of a prince to that of a king. Following Brion's death, Nigel is both a mentor and a role model to Kelson, setting the example of a mature, confident Haldane prince for Kelson to emulate.


Conall Blaine Cluim Uthyr Haldane is the eldest son of Prince Nigel Haldane and the first cousin of King Kelson Haldane. He accompanies Kelson's army during the ecclesiastical rebellion and subsequent Torenthi invasion of 1121, and later travels with the king to the Earldom of Transha in 1123. In addition, he briefly serves in the royal army during the Mearan rebellion of 1124. As a character, Conall is depicted as being both arrogant and haughty, occasionally plagued by moments of petty jealousy toward his royal cousin. His ambitious nature is first foreshadowed in The Bishop's Heir, though the full extent of his aspirations is not revealed until The Quest for Saint Camber. Prior to The King's Justice, Conall begins receiving secret instruction from the Deryni Tiercel de Claron, a member of the Camberian Council who is determined to activate Conall's Haldane potential. Conall's arcane talents develop steadily over the following year, but he accidentally kills Tiercel during an argument shortly after the prince's knighting. Conall hides Tiercel's body and departs Rhemuth the following day to accompany King Kelson's religious expedition. However, he returns to Rhemuth several weeks later after the king is swept into a river and presumed killed. Shortly after Conall's return, Nigel discovers his son's involvement with Tiercel, prompting Conall to lash out at his father with his arcane powers. Although his talents are powerful, Conall is unable to control them, and he places his father into an arcane coma. With both Kelson and Nigel gone, Conall assumes the title of Prince Regent and begins to make plans for his own coronation as King of Gwynedd. However, his rise to the throne is halted by Kelson's unexpected return several weeks later. After Nigel is healed, he reveals his son's treason and Conall is arrested. Conall orchestrates a Duel Arcane with Kelson during his trial, but the king defeats his cousin and condemns him to death. Conall is executed at the age of 18 in 1125, having married once and fathered one legitimate son, though his mistress also bears an illegitimate daughter after Conall's death. Conall is a unique character in the series, as he is the only member of the House of Haldane to serve as a primary antagonist in the plots of the novels.