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Lariana is a character in The Darkling Child. She is a teenager who convinces the sorcerer Arcannen to purchase her and take her away from the House of Rare Flowers, in return for her services in manipulating Reyn Frosch.

BiographyEdit

Early LifeEdit

Lariana was the daughter of a Rover chieftain. Because she was not the firstborn child, she was treated like property and was told at the age of fifteen that she would be married off in trade. Because she refused, she was disowned and left to fend for herself on the streets.

Some months later Lariana ended up at the House of Rare Flowers in Hennish, a village near the Southland city of Wayford. Run by a man named Corussin, the House of Rare Flowers was a sort of finishing school and marketing agency for young women and girls, offering them an opportunity to abandon their pasts and find a new, secure life by choosing from well-off suitors who would come to call and pay Corussin large fees. Corussin soon became frustrated with Lariana, for she would reject every suitor and keep herself apart from the other girls and women, in a clear sign that she considered herself superior to others.

Quest to Avenge the People of ArbroxEdit

When the sorcerer Arcannen comes to Corussin looking for an attractive girl whom he can use to manipulate Reyn Frosch, Lariana approaches him. Although the rules of the House state that the women and girls cannot approach suitors first, Lariana realizes that Arcannen is the type of powerful man she is seeking and attempts to persuade him to take her with him.

Impressed by Lariana's perceptive abilities and powers of persuasion, Arcannen makes sure she will agree to what he has in mind for her, which is to manipulate a boy her age into falling in love with her and to get him to do his bidding. Satisfied by Lariana's answers, he buys her from Corussin and takes her to the village of Portlow, where he had left Reyn.

Reyn is caught while trying to escape Portlow by the Fortren family, who had been watching the roads out of the village to exact vengeance for the deaths of Borry and Yancel Fortren. They are about to kill him when Arcannen appears and uses his magic to to light the entire Fortren family on fire. Arcannen takes Reyn away aboard his airship, where Lariana treats Reyn and helps him heal. The boy is immediately infatuated by the beautiful girl and a bond begins to form between them.

On the airship, Arcannen explains to Reyn that the magic he possesses is the wishsong, and that this means that Reyn, despite his surname, must be a descendant of the Ohmsfords, the only family that possesses the wishsong magic. Reyn admits to Arcannen that he has lost control of his magic and killed people with it, but he does not reveal that he goes catatonic after losing control because he is uncomfortable revealing such a major weakness to the sorcerer.

Arcannen takes Lariana and Reyn to the ruins of the coastal fortress community of Arbrox, where the Federation military unit known as the Red Slash had recently killed every single person except for Arcannen himself. Arcannen explains to his young companions the injustice and atrocity of the massacre at Arbrox and his desire to exact revenge on the Red Slash for what had happened. When Reyn protests, declaring he won't use the wishsong to kill people, Arcannen assures him that he won't ask that of Reyn, but Reyn remains doubtful.

Under Arcannen's orders, Lariana assists Reyn in learning how to create lifelike images with the wishsong. During one of their practice sessions, Reyn goes catatonic after successfully creating a succession of images. He confesses to Lariana that this weakness is a feature of his use of the magic in stressful situations, and she promises not to tell Arcannen about it. By this point it is clear that the young pair are deeply in love with each other.

Soon after Dallen Usurient, the commander of the Red Slash, returns to Arbrox with a small company of violent criminals and chained beasts to exterminate Arcannen once and for all. Lariana, Reyn, and Arcannen are forced to defend themselves against the company: Arcannen disappears from the fight early, Reyn uses the wishsong to confuse the beasts into attacking Mallich, the creatures' trainer, and Lariana uses a flash rip to kill the Hammer, an executioner from the Federation prisons. Paxon Leah and the Druid Avelene arrive in time to see Usurient shoot Arcannen with a flash rip and to see Reyn use the wishsong when he and Lariana are attacked by the serial killer Bael Etris.

However, this last use of the wishsong leaves Reyn catatonic, and Bael Etris recovers quickly enough to knock out Lariana and capture Reyn. Paxon and Avelene confront the man, who insists that Arcannen isn't dead and that what was shot down was merely an image of the sorcerer. He is proven correct when a huge explosion occurs, after which Arcannen and Reyn have disappeared and Bael Etris is left impaled on a steel rod. Paxon, Avelene, and Lariana team up to go after Arcannen and Reyn.

Arcannen takes Reyn to a hideout in the Southland city of Sterne. Reyn, who by this point has realized that Arcannen is not the mentor he was hoping for but merely someone out to use him, is horrified when Arcannen reveals he wants to kill not just Usurient but every single soldier in the Red Slash with Reyn's assistance. The sorcerer threatens to kill Lariana in front of Reyn if he does not comply.

Lariana leads Paxon and Avelene to Sterne but loses them inside an abandoned building so that she can return to Arcannen and Reyn alone. When Reyn confronts her and asks what the nature of her relationship with the sorcerer is, Lariana admits that she was hired to make Reyn fall in love with her, but she insists that she has fallen in love with Reyn herself and is concerned first and foremost for him and not for Arcannen. She declares that they need to get away from Arcannen if they want to stop him from continuing to use Reyn's powers for his own ends, and they resolve to protect each other no matter what happens.

Arcannen challenges Usurient and the entire Red Slash unit to meet him at the Horn of Honor, a monument to fallen soldiers that sits in the Federation burial grounds out on a bluff above the city. He goes to the bluff with only Reyn and Lariana accompanying him.

Usurient, confident of victory, speaks tauntingly at Arcannen, but he is cut short when Reyn, under Arcannen's orders and with Lariana's emotional support, uses the wishsong to immobilize him and all five hundred of the soldiers of the Red Slash. Faced with a completely motionless unit of soldiers, Arcannen tortures Usurient briefly before setting him on fire, and then methodically setting row after row of soldiers on fire.

As the carnage unfolds, Reyn is horrified and begins losing his grip on his magic. Paxon and Avelene, who managed to get free of Lariana's ruse as well as the prisons that Usurient had thrown them in, arrive to help, but Reyn is as afraid of falling into the hands of the Druids as he is of Arcannen and he flees, astonishing Lariana by calling on Arcannen to help them.

Arcannen faces Paxon and Avelene, and Paxon takes the brunt of the sorcerer's initial attack before Avelene comes in with her own magic. As they duel, Reyn and Lariana are seen running to the edge of the bluff, and those soldiers who had not yet been set on fire and were now released from the magic of the wishsong turned on the young couple, firing projectiles at them until they both collapsed.

The deaths of the young couple distract Arcannen, Avelene, and Paxon, but Arcannen recovers first and strikes a mortal blow against Avelene. Paxon goes after Arcannen in a rage, using his sword to deflect the sorcerer's attacks, and just as in their last battle five years ago, Arcannen wears out and decides to flee, leaving Paxon alone with Avelene, who dies in the Highlander's arms.

Paxon is left emotionally bereft and sickened by all he has seen in his time as the Ard Rhys's Blade. In addition to the betrayal by his friend Sebec and the deaths of Aphenglow Elessedil and Starks, he had witnessed Avelene's death and Arcannen's exploitation of Reyn to kill Dallen Usurient and all five hundred soldiers of the Red Slash.

Paxon requests to the Ard Rhys Isaturin that he be allowed some time away from Paranor. Knowing that the remains of Lariana and Reyn were never found at the Horn of Honor, he spends time looking for Reyn and months later finds him alive and well in the Westland village of Backing Fell, living with Lariana and paying penance for the deaths at the Horn of Honor by using his wishsong to heal people.

While Paxon is heartened to find Reyn safe and alive, neither Reyn nor Lariana is happy to see him, and Paxon is disturbed by how mentally broken and how dependent on Lariana Reyn seems to be after the massacre at Sterne. He leaves Reyn without bothering to tell him of his heritage as the descendant of Redden Ohmsford, and without mentioning that he and Paxon are in fact cousins.

After Paxon leaves, Lariana announces to Reyn that she is pregnant with his child.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Lariana is described as being incredibly beautiful, with distinctive "toffee-colored" hair streaked through with gold; green eyes; pale skin; and perfect, small, doll-like features. She is small in stature but has a compelling, commanding presence. She is described as clearly being the product of more than one Race, with mixed blood that might be partially Elven.

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