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How about I rush over there, faster than any of your mind-controlled minions can react, then bury my flail six inches into your snowy-white cranium? Oh, and then strangle Baldy with his own guts. How does that sound?
— Valentina Greaves[1]

Valentina "Val" Greaves, a character in "The Crown & The Flame" series, is a mercenary. It is unknown which of The Five Kingdoms she is originally from. She is first seen in Book 1, Chapter 3.

Background

Val was a mercenary who frequently worked for Aurelia. As such, she knows the hidden city's location as well as the traps placed to bewilder unwanted visitors. Her relationship with her employers grew to an extent where she refused to pillage and steal from the city, despite its tremendous wealth and her greed.

On one occasion, within two years after Luther's capture of Stormholt, she met Leon Stirling when he was trying to subdue a traitorous Severin into inebriation. She witnessed the Stormholt soldier win against the mercenary and proceed to attack Nevrakis soldiers with a broken chair leg. This feat somehow made Val regard Leon in a good light.

Appearance

Val is a well-built woman with long auburn hair which she keeps tied up in a pony tail. Usually, she wears a red armor woven out of leather over a gray long-sleeved shirt. Her flail is holstered in one front side of her brown belt, with a brown pouch attached in the other. Underneath her armor, she wears a simple brown leather brassiere.

Her formal attire, which also served as her handmaiden dress, is a long velvet gown with long sleeves and a white belt. This includes a silver necklace with a circular pendant and silver fang-shaped earrings. Her hair is untied and wavy.

Personality

Val is a tough, bold but loyal woman. She hates her real name "Valentina", to the point where she threatened injury or death to anyone who mentions that name or reveals it to others. She is devoted above all to Kenna, and in Book 2, swore undying loyalty to her with a blood compact. She even acts as a spy, albeit with much protest, in order to help her liberate Lykos from the Nevrakis family as well as provide intel about Hex's new war machines, but only if it is as Kenna's order.

As Whitlock, Annelyse, Leon, and Raydan have mentioned in one way or another, Val lacks grace, manners, and etiquette, preferring to behave as a full-blooded mercenary, being wild and free; she took no time hesitating in giving Azura the finger. She is quite aware of these traits and will viciously confront anyone who teases her with them, such as when she threatened to punch Whitlock with his own metal hands when the latter brought up her table manners.

Val dislikes reading, prefers to talk with her fists, and hates "acting like Annelyse". She curses even more than Leon, and speaks her mind bluntly to anyone, be it friend or enemy. According to her, Val's way of showing affection is trash-talking. She is also a heavy drinker, happily taking any opportunity to drink, such as during Annelyse's party, and after Kenna's conquest of Lykos; she was even willing to split an entire barrel of very potent ale with Leon before the latter's death.

Val is also known in the group for her greed, displayed when she betted against Kenna in her duel with Severin, calling it "easy money"; jesting about melting the Aurelian statues and selling them; attempting to steal the gear in the Technocrats' labyrinth; and pocketing some of Whitlock's trinkets. This explains her working for Aurelia and her skills in jewelry appraisal.

She also gives amusing nicknames to the people around her, calling Raydan "Fancy Man", Rowan Thorn "Tree Woman", and Azura "She Who Craps Lightning". This extends to Ducitoran soldiers, whom she describes by how their helmets look, e.g. Birdface and Mr. Fancy.

Abilities

Flail Proficiency

Val is very proficient with her Deadman's Flail; she personally killed many Nevrakis and Ducitoran Soldiers by dealing powerful blows to their heads and chests.

Physical Strength

Val has heightened raw strength, easily besting several Stormholt soldiers at arm-wrestling and even making wagers on this feat, and strangling Zenobia to unconsciousness with ease. She was also confident enough to challenge Kenna to a wrestling match.

Relationships

Severin Cale

Severin Cale led the mercenary camp where Kenna met Val and Gabriel. She seems to be a leader among her peers, and is considered one of their best fighters.

Raydan Lykel

Val shares a love-hate relationship with Raydan, who frequently teases her in return receiving death threats. However, it is shown that Val really cares about him, as she was obviously shook by his apparent betrayal to Azura. She also did not hesitate to take a blow from Azura for him with or without the anti-magic shield.

Will Jackson

Val and Will aren't the best of friends, but they still get along. Val usually teases him because of his background as a trained knight, and says that he secretly wants to grovel to others. Near the end of the story, Val playfully messes around with him, reserving an entire barrel of ale to be drunk by him by writing his name on it.

Kenna Rys

Val and Kenna's relationship starts off with Val unknowingly insulting Kenna and her mother, the late Queen Adriana. Once Kenna defeats Severin, Val begins to respect her and agrees to fight alongside her. She eventually becomes one of her most devoted allies and will defend Kenna immediately, through words or her fists. In fact, she tried to kill Dom in blind rage after he accidentally burnt Kenna and had to be restrained, as well as pledging herself to her after the incident, in blood. Kenna even trusts Val with her life, and can pursue Val as a love interest if the player chooses. Val develops romantic feelings for Kenna (a diamond option allows Kenna to go see Val and the latter will admit her feelings); during Kenna's infiltration of Lykos Castle, Val noticeably worries over Kenna's safety. She eventually grows fonder of Kenna and says that she is "incredible", proving her loyalty and admiration of her. If the player chooses to marry Kenna to Val, the mercenary states that she had never thought it possible to love something, or someone, as much as she loves her.

Stormholt Soldiers

Val is highly respected by Kenna's soldiers, as she seems to have a very friendly relationship with many of the Stormholt Soldiers. The soldiers also happily drink and joke with her from time to time, and should Val fail to push the bookcase in Book 3 Chapter 7, the rescued soldiers would sacrifice themselves to allow Val to escape.

Other Looks

Trivia

  • Originally, Val was supposed to be a male mercenary in Kenna's army named "Mercenary", but the writers later changed their minds.
  • The player gets a chance to play as her in Book 2 and Book 3.
  • Val was once crowned queen of her village's midsummer fair, but she later sold the crown. This is mentioned in the asset progress screen.
  • Val seemingly has a soft spot for animals, as she sympathized with the baby kraken in Hex's laboratory, and seemed very excited to have a "talking puppy" should Kenna adopt the wolf pup in Book 3.
  • Interestingly, Val has quarreled with almost everyone of Kenna's closest allies, the queen herself included:
    • She physically assaulted Kenna after unknowningly insulting the latter's mother during their first meeting.
    • She fought and threatened to kill Dom for accidentally burning Kenna.
    • She chided Raydan for disclosing her real name to Adder, then held a grudge against him when he "defected" to Azura.
    • She bickered with Annelyse and Adder over dressing up as Zenobia's handmaiden.
    • She argued with Leon when the latter brought up her table manners in Ducitora, and again when Kenna chose him as her champion.
    • She argued with Jackson about thievery and Flinch during their first meeting with Kenna and Gabriel, and later threatened to kill him after suspecting he told Raydan her real name.
    • She scolded Whitlock during their first encounter, and much later, threatened him during Kenna's dinner with the Nevrakis when he brought up her table etiquette.

References

  1. The Crown & The Flame, Book 3. Her rebuttal to Azura's offer of fealty.