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Elaira is an initiate of the Koriathain, initially introduced as a slightly rebellious sorceress who would rather make simples than attend to lane watch duty. She has velvet-grey eyes, auburn hair, and a thin, elfin profile.

Elaira wears a pale lavender cloak with three bands of rank in silver ribbon.[1] She always wears three talisman buttons fashioned of copper coins, good luck charms from her days as a thief.[2] She disdains jewelry, other than her quartz spell crystal, and keeps only a braided silver bracelet dulled from careless wear. Often impertinent, Elaira has a heedless sensitivity that she defends with dry wit.


Elaira grew up parentless in the company of beggars and prostitutes, protected by a kind man she called Uncle. She lived as a disciple of thieves in Morvain until trouble with the Mayor of Morvain's son led her to be given over to the Koriathain for training.

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Ships of Merior.

In Ships of Merior, Elaira reveals that she sketched a vengeful symbol with a stolen charm when she found the Mayor's son tormenting a dog in an alley. The boy's knife slipped and stabbed him through the wrist, and Elaira was claimed by the Koriani in exchange for their healing of the son.[3]

Role in the Story

Given the prominent role that this character plays in the story, plot events have been organized onto separate pages for each book.


  1. Forum Post, October 22, 2008
  2. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 311 (US-Hardback)
  3. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 390 (US-Hardback)