A reader had a question about how the valikarion are created in the GHOST EXILE series.
The question is answered below, but note that it has spoilers for the previous eight books of GHOST EXILE.
“Valikarion” is an Iramisian word that means “bearer of a valikon”. The valikarion themselves were an order of warriors in Iramis, warriors who had acquired an extreme sensitivity to sorcery. Because of this sensitivity, they could see sorcerous auras (something sorcerers themselves cannot even do without the aid of spells), see through illusion spells, and remain impervious to mind-controlling and detection spells. (To put it in Dungeons & Dragons terms, the valikarion have continual Detect Magic, True Sight, and Mind Blank abilities.)
These are useful abilities, but the valikarion are still vulnerable – seeing a spell will do you know good if a sorcerer levitates a boulder to drop on your head, and when that fails, a sorcerer could always pick up a club and beat a valikarion to death. That was why the Iramisian valikarions were always superbly trained warriors, and carried valikons, ghostsilver swords that could penetrate any sorcerous warding spell.
As to how the valikarion acquired their abilities, they underwent a test in the Towers of Lore in Iramis (specifically in the Tower of Gates) and entered the netherworld to face an ordeal. If they failed the ordeal, which involved confronting themselves, they died. If they triumphed, they returned as valikarion, and were awarded a valikon to wield in battle.
Because of the many times she had visited the netherworld and her preexisting sensitivity to sorcery, Caina was already halfway there. When she sacrificed herself to save her friends while the Elixir Rejuvenata and Kharnaces’s poison was in her veins, that was essentially identical to the ordeal in the Tower of Gates. When she recovered, she had the abilities of a valikarion.
What is interesting is that by Caina’s time, the valikarion are dusty, forgotten history because Callatas burned Iramis, but in ancient days sorcerers were utterly terrified of them. The Great Necromancers of Maat tried to conquer Iramis several times, but failed because of the loremasters and the valikarion. Many nations still have legends of the valikarion slaying wicked sorcerers, and several individual valikarion became folk heroes to various tribes and nations, semi-legendary figures held in high regard to the modern day, like King Arthur or the Russian bogatyr or the paladins of Charlemagne.
The reason sorcerers feared the valikarion should be apparent, especially if you’ve read Chapter 14 of GHOST IN THE PACT. Cassander Nilas knew enough Iramisian history that if he had realized Caina was a valikarion, he would have seriously revised his strategy. Of course, his biggest mistake was trusting Kalgri – in his studies he probably should have read the parable of the fox and the scorpion.
The reader also wanted to know if Kylon counted as a valikarion, because he has been using a valikon in battle since GHOST IN THE RAZOR. The answer would be no – sorcerers cannot become valikarion, since anyone who can wield arcane force cannot have the altered perception necessary to become a valikarion. That said, there’s nothing to prevent someone like Kylon from using a valikon sword to good effect! 🙂