- Age: 16
- Birthday: April 22nd
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Brown
- Height: 5’1″
- Best Friend: Jessica Halloran
- Pet: Leafy
- Hobbies: Reading, Astronomy, Hiking, Computers
- Favorite Food: Oranges
- Favorite Color: Gold
- Favorite Place To Visit: Lakeshore Municipal Library
- Favorite Music: Chopin, Mozart
- Favorite School Subject: Geology
- Least Favorite School Subject: Industrial Arts
- Favorite Flower: Bluebell
- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Lime Sherbet
- Favorite Pizza Topping: Green Peppers
- Least Favorite Thing: Meeting new people
- Year in School: Sophomore
- Band Instrument: Glockenspiel
- Band Rank: Assistant Music Librarian
- Other Instruments: Piano, Synthesizer
- Warrior Virtue: Courtesy
- Battle Magic Sources: Plants, Trees and Flowers
- Ajan Ring: Greenflower
- Ajan Weapon Type: Shield
- Ajan Weapon: Trueblossom
- Alternate Form: Shillelagh
“I wish I could be an astronaut and fly; just fly away to space, just to see what’s there”
- The Professor
- Ajan Warrior of the Forest
- The Storyteller
- Champion of the Firstflowers
If any of their friends were asked, all would agree Jessica and Talitha balance each other perfectly. Jessica provides the energy. Talitha provides the stability. Jessica is impulsive. Talitha is practical. Jessica comes up with ten new ideas. Talitha picks the one that makes the most sense.
On the rare occasions when Jessica manages to drag her best friend to parties, Talitha’s shyness usually relegates her to whispering in Jessica’s ear, hiding behind her friend to avoid being noticed and eventually finding her way to a quiet corner where she can lose herself in a book. Jessica never abandons Talitha, however. She always ends up sitting with her friend and often brings the party with her.
Were it not for Jessica, Talitha would rarely leave home. She prefers peace and quiet where she can focus her formidable intellect on her academics. Talitha has incredible reading comprehension, and absorbs new information effortlessly. She is frequently frustrated in school, as her classmates and more than a few of her teachers are largely unable to match her ability to conquer new subjects. This often leaves Talitha either all alone or the subject of relentless bullying by others who fear her powerful mind and unbreakable study habits.
Fortunately, Jessica’s social sensibilities are equal to Talitha’s scholarly talents. The blond girl recognized her friend’s problem when both were quite young, so Jessica made Talitha join her Outdoor Girls Troop. Over the course of that summer, when the two were sixth graders, Jessica was on a mission to make friends with her bookish neighbor from across the lake. The duo worked together to earn several obscure troop badges, some due to Jessica’s exuberance and some due to Talitha’s ability to get perfect scores on the tests. The two have been inseparable ever since.
- Might: 41
- Brilliance: 98
- Insight: 90
- Charm: 65
- Quickness: 29
- Will: 71
Powers, Attacks, Defenses and Battle Magic
Early on, the girls discover Talitha is absolutely crucial to any chance they have of success or victory in their many adventures. The Storyteller’s powers center around healing and defense against natural toxins or corrupted plant life. She has few offensive powers, but when paired up with an attack-minded warrior, Talitha’s combination of defensive spells, healing and the know-how to employ them effectively makes her a devastating opponent.
Like Shannon, Talitha has enhanced senses. The Forest Warrior can communicate with plant life after a fashion, but cannot do so in the same manner as the Huntress. Among Shannon’s powers is the ability to speak in feral languages, at least one of which can only be understood by nocturnal creatures. This power exists only because animals have minds and ears and can hear.
Talitha can communicate with nearly any plant, but her messages are sent and received through pollens, scents, natural toxins, water vapor and secretions. Where Shannon can sense an animal’s fear from its heartbeat, adrenaline level and actions, Talitha can sense a plant’s fear from its scent and the protective essence covering its leaves or flowers.
Unlike Shannon, The Storyteller can also “read” a forest by evaluating the activities of insects, especially colony species like ants, bees and termites. She can’t communicate with them directly except through a summoning spell, but between her enhanced perceptive abilities and what she knows about insects, Talitha usually learns what she needs to know quickly.
Jessica is not thrilled about Talitha’s interest in bugs.
Talitha’s primary powers are her healing spells. She can heal any living plant or creature by touch or at considerable range. Talitha can turn pure water into a healing elixir and can fashion charms out of enchanted wood which have permanent life-giving properties.
All of Talitha’s spells require much longer preparation times than those of some of the other Ajan Warriors. Jessica’s healing spells, for example, are very quick, often requiring only a moment’s thought. Talitha’s, on the other hand, can take several seconds to cast. The difference is the Storyteller’s healing spells are considerably more powerful than the Minstrel’s. Jessica can heal cuts and scrapes and the occasional bruise. Talitha can heal broken bones, major contusions and sometimes what might otherwise be life-threatening injuries. She can also place a long-lasting spell that will continue to gradually heal a person, plant or animal over many hours or days.
The Forest Warrior is absolutely immune to all plant-based natural toxins, including insect stings or any other poison that occurs in nature. She also has formidable resistance to animal poisons or any magically-enhanced toxin with natural components. She can neutralize plant-based poisons with a touch.
Because of her cooperative relationship with plants, Talitha cannot be tracked in any forest or grassland. She cannot be caged or restrained by any plant-based material, including wood, vines, ropes made of any natural substance or any natural material including cotton, flax or silk.
Talitha’s magic can be disrupted by metals, ores and certain kinds of stone. She cannot wear any clothing, decoration or ornament that is made of anything that did not come from a plant or animal without losing a portion of her powers.
The Forest Warrior’s presence is extraordinarily beneficial to life. Flowers and plants often grow near her. She has a continual menagerie of vines, leaves and flowers that grow out of her hair. Seeds, pollens and spores often fall out of her hair as well. Both Jessica and Talitha have made several attempts to stop this phenomenon, but eventually gave up after the plants became “grumpy.”
The details of the “grumpy plants incident,” as it came to be known, have inspired considerable speculation, but to date neither Jessica nor Talitha have been willing to discuss it.
Talitha carries a woven satchel with her that contains a continuously replenishing supply of seeds, fruits, leaves, salves and various species of flowers. She can also locate and conjure water in quantities sufficient to sustain herself and several other people indefinitely.
Trueblossom is the Ajan Weapon kept by the Forest Warrior. It is a footman’s shield made of heartwood and emblazoned with an enormous color relief carving of a Goldenwood tree. It is reinforced with emerald stones and magically hardened amber. Trueblossom is absolutely impervious to any physical or natural force and can either repair or reconstitute itself even if disintegrated by extremely powerful magic. Trueblossom cannot be wielded by anyone except Talitha Casey.
Talitha’s shield’s primary power is the Shelter Bloom, which allows the relief carving device on the shield to blast spores, toxins or even living vines towards an enemy. One example of the power of the Shelter Bloom are Cinder Spores, signified by a beautiful yellow and orange flower on the surface of the shield. If a weapon or physical force strikes Trueblossom after Talitha casts the Cinder Spore Bloom, a cloud of hot seeds and flower petals will explode in all directions, incapacitating any breathing creature for several minutes. Cinder spores have been described as a cross between itching powder, chili extract, several thousand angry wasps and a shower of sparks, not necessarily in that order.
The Forest Warrior can choose from dozens of Shelter Blooms, each more powerful than the last.
Trueblossom has two alternate forms. Its disguised form is called Greenflower, a heartwood ring with an emerald stone delicately carved in the shape of a Goldenwood leaf. Trueblossom can also become a flowered shillelagh decorated with a continuous slow-moving carving depicting the living gardens of Goldenwood itself. Talitha can open any locked door by knocking on it three times with Trueblossom in shillelagh form.
Talitha has a unique relationship with an ancient race of fairy-like creatures known as Littlekin. One such creature joins Talitha during her journey to discover Greenflower, and is named Leafy by his new owner. He is a tiny orchid dragon approximately four inches in height who has a habit of smiling constantly.
Leafy has the ability to hover and fly like a hummingbird. His wings beat more than 200 times a minute and give off a soothing light that changes color depending on his mood. Talitha eventually learns what most of the colors mean, with red being the signal for danger. She also discovers Leafy is an enthusiastic fan of eating sugarblossom seeds, which is fortunate, since Talitha has a nearly inexhaustible supply.
It remains to be seen if Leafy has any powers beyond his apparent ability to understand Talitha and his ability to fly. He does seem to enjoy playing tug of war with Cici, especially if whatever is being used as the tugging object is edible.
The Warrior of the Forest and the Warrior of the Storms are united on one very important principle, and that is the heightened sense of danger the girls must acknowledge given the physical strength and speed advantage often enjoyed by their enemies.
Talitha and Jessica are particularly cognizant of this issue, given their average height of “five foot nothing” according to Ranko and the fact neither can lift their own body weight unassisted. Ranko and Shannon both recommend a focus on teamwork and strength training to overcome these disadvantages, and Talitha takes the message to heart, becoming the continual conscience of the Ajan Warriors in the process.
This eventually turns Talitha into the axis around which the girls’ defense orbits. As such, she is the warrior most likely to be shielded from outside attacks by the other girls, particularly Cici. In return, Talitha eventually learns to improve her healing magic to the point where, with few exceptions, she can render any other single Ajan Warrior invincible unless impossibly outnumbered.
Jessica and Talitha are a particularly powerful combination, especially considering they can not only fight and both take advantage of Jessica’s blessings, but continuously heal each other during the battle. With her healing magic amplified by Jessica’s blessings, Talitha can quite literally sustain an entire army of fighters.