Yrene Westfall (née Towers) is a gifted healer from southern Fenharrow. She worked as a barmaid in Innish, a small port town in Melisande, before traveling to the Southern Continent in order to further train as a healer.
Yrene grew up in a small village in southern Fenharrow, learning the healing arts alongside her prodigiously gifted mother. Blessed by the goddess of healing, Silba, her mother never charged for healing as she simply thought it was her duty, a value that her daughter, Yrene, inherited. When Yrene was eleven years old, following the Fall of Magic and the subsequent purge by the Kingdom of Adarlan, soldiers came to seize both Yrene and her mother, despite the non-violent nature of their magic. Her mother killed one of the soldiers and distracted the others so that Yrene could escape, fleeing into Oakwald Forest. She watched from the shadows of the forest as her mother was burned alive.
Following her mother's death, Yrene went to live with her mother's cousin in another Fenharrow village, posing as a non-gifted, distant relative. Although without her magic, she still dreamed of being a healer, like her mother and grandmother before her. Shortly before her eighteenth birthday, Yrene left her cousin's house with a plan to sail to the Southern continent, where she could enroll at the Torre Cesme, the Academy of Healers and Physicians. However, by the time she reached the port-town of Innish in Melisande, she had run out of money and began working at the White Pig Inn in order to save for her travels. Her increasing worry about money gave her the excuse to continue working at the inn, regardless of its squalor and less than desirable clientele, especially as the owner of the inn, Nolan, kept raising her rent.
The Assassin and the Healer
Working at the White Pig Inn for a year, Yrene encounters the mysteriously hooded Celaena Sardothien, whom she worries will be attacked by the thieves present. While she is taking out the trash, Yrene is attacked instead by four mercenaries, hoping to rob her of the night's earnings; Celaena witnesses the attack and kills three of the four men. Hoping to return the favor, Yrene tends to her injuries while sharing the story of her life. Worried about the young woman in such a dangerous town, Celaena decides to teach Yrene basic self-defense so that she might be able to protect herself in the future.
However, they are soon confronted by the fourth mercenary who brought comrades in his quest for revenge. When Celaena refuses to lower her weapons on threat of Yrene's life, Yrene uses her newly acquired skills to incapacitate her captor while Celaena dispatches the others; it is revealed that Celaena was merely using the men and their attack as training for Yrene. After Celaena's departure, Yrene returns to her room to find a coin purse, full of money and a golden brooch, to aid her in reaching the Southern Continent. Elated, Yrene leaves Innish behind and boards a ship sailing south.
After arriving at the Torre Cesme, Yrene confronted the Healer on High, Hafiza, and placed a bag of gold on her desk as payment for tuition at the Torre, begging her for admittance. To her humiliation, Hafiza told her to take the gold back, and Yrene was so mortified that she considered jumping out of the window. Unbeknownst to her, tuition at the Torre is free and her gold was not needed. Overwhelmed, Yrene broke down and Hafiza held her as she cried.
Over the next two years, Yrene rose swiftly in the ranks due to her immense knowledge and work ethic; those years spent learning from her mother guaranteed that she already knew much more than the other students. She also met and became friends with Hasar and Kashin, two of the khagan's children. Kashin developed feelings for her, though she rebuffed him due to his royal status.
|"So good of you to find us additional help, Prince." |
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Having spent two years at the Torre Cesme studying to be a healer, Yrene, now the most gifted healer at the Torre, is called by the Healer on High Hafiza. She is told of the arrival of Chaol Westfall in Antica, and Hafiza explains that she has decided to send Yrene in her place to help him. Yrene blatantly refuses, due to the fact that Chaol is from Adarlan and served the man who had her mother killed. She argues with Hafiza about it, until the old woman says that she is disappointed as she hoped for Yrene to one day take her place. She says it will be Yrene's final test before she leaves the Torre to return to Fenharrow and aid in the war. Yrene reluctantly agrees.
The next day, Yrene travels to the palace for her first session with Chaol. With Nesryn Faliq present, she coldly asks Chaol questions about his injury while ignoring those he poses to her, pretending to write down his answers on a piece of paper. In actual fact, she writes her mother, Josefin's, name down over and over again. Hasar interrupts the assessment to say hello to Yrene, whose mood lifts as they joke around. Yrene lightly hints that Hasar should leave so she can continue, horrifying Nesryn, but Hasar only quips about cutting Yrene's tongue out and leaves. Yrene continues her examination of Chaol's back and asks a few more questions, before leaving herself. She is startled by the malevolent magic that surrounds his injury.
Yrene returns to the Torre and immediately goes to Hafiza, all the while mulling over Chaol and how young he is compared to what she expected. She discusses the assessment with Hafiza and tells her of the rotted feeling she got from Chaol's injury. She tells Hafiza that she thinks she can heal him; Hafiza asks if that means that she will help him. Yrene admits that she is missing information about his life and that doesn't absolve him of the sins of Adarlan, but decides to help him. She makes plans to go to the library and research spinal injuries.
Yrene attends dinner that night with the royal family and Chaol. Ignoring Chaol, Yrene talks with Hasar and endures Kashin's praise for her healing ability. Chaol eyes her throughout, though she pays him no attention and instead focuses on shutting down conversation with Kashin, who continually tries to talk to her. She leaves immediately after the dessert course.
The next day, Yrene makes her way to Chaol's rooms for the next session. She explains that she can help him, and advises Nesryn to use the hours Chaol will be indisposed in their sessions to go about her business. Nesryn leaves, and Yrene discusses slavery in Adarlan with Chaol, who informs her of Dorian Havilliard's decree to end it and the slave camps. She is not impressed. They continue the session, and Yrene attempts to use her magic on the darkness in his back; she encounters a wall that startles her and she recoils. Demanding to know what it is, Yrene begins kneading his muscles and he whispers the truth about the Valg to her while she works.
More to be added...
Yrene sails to the northern continent with Chaol and the khaganate army. Yrene has discovered she might be pregnant, but keeps this from Chaol to stop him worrying. Chaol receives word from a ruk scout that 10,000 Morath soldiers are on their way to his homeland of Anielle, and makes the decision to fly there to warn his father and the people of Anielle. Yrene refuses to stay behind, and flies there with him and fifty healers.
They arrive at Anielle, which Yrene notes is a grim and dreary place. She notices Chaol's attitude towards his home is a bitter one, and tries to reassure him he's doing the right thing. Chaol is grateful for her support. The two of them enter Westfall Keep to a muted welcome, and go to meet Chaol's father. Lord Westfall proves to be every bit as bitter and dismissive as Chaol expected, and Yrene surprises them both by standing up to him and chastising him for his attitude towards his son and his people, earning her a grudging respect from Lord Westfall and gratitude from Chaol. They leave the Lord to his loneliness and are taken to their rooms.
Sartaq and Nesryn arrive the next morning with a contingent of ruks, having scouted ahead for news of the approaching army. The outlook is grim. Yrene organizes the healers and sets up a medical station, and also sets about evacuating families on the lake-side of the Keep who might be endangered by catapults. The Valg army arrives, and the onslaught begins. For the next five days, Yrene is occupied with healing the injured soldiers and ruks of the Anielle and the khaganate while worrying about Chaol. On her way to the next patients she is stopped by Eretia, who pointedly asks if she has rested enough. She brushes aside Yrene's excuses and tells her that she needs to be careful in her state, because magic use during pregnancy can be dangerous. Yrene promises to tell Chaol when the time is right.
Kashin and his forces arrive to give aid, and the battle dies down for a moment. Nesryn takes Yrene and Chaol to a war meeting with the khaganate royals, and they are shocked to find Aelin there, with her group of rescuers. Chaol and Aelin reunite, and when he introduces her to his wife the queen recognizes the healer she met all those years ago. Yrene express her gratitude for the help she gave, and Aelin is moved to tears when she realizes that Yrene and Chaol are married. Introductions are made, and information is shared. After the meeting ends Yrene finds Chaol rubbing down his horse and tells him she's pregnant, though to her dismay he already knows thanks to his father's careful observations. He isn't angry that she hid it from him, and they embrace.
Chaol is left with the unenviable task of introducing Aelin to his father; Yrene would very much like to see that conversation, and goes with him. Surprisingly, they find that Lord Westfall has already found out about Aelin and meet him on his way to her. Chaol reluctantly introduces him, and Yrene quietly watches while the show begins, enjoying every moment of it. Aelin deals with the Lord in her usual bittersweet manner, taking great pleasure in telling him that Chaol is hand to the King of Adarlan and outranks him. Eventually Lord Westfall leaves, angry and humiliated, and Aelin congratulates Yrene on her pregnancy. Amused by the whole thing, Yrene leaves to tend the wounded.
The battle rages on, and Morath tries to tip the scales by destroying Anielle's dam and flooding the battlefield. Yrene sends Elide to tell Chaol something, and when she does not return the healer finds him herself and prays for Elide when she sees the girl racing across the field to find Lorcan. She watches from the battlements as Aelin vaporizes the approaching flood, and afterwards she tends to Lorcan and other injured soldiers. She also demonstrates her ability to purge the Valg from their hosts to Aelin and the rest, spending the next long hours slowly removing them from all of Morath's unwilling soldiers while Gavriel watches and learns how to do it himself.
With Anielle saved, the army marches north to Terrasen through the White Fang Mountains. They pass through the Ferian Gap, where Yrene continues to heal soldiers who fall ill and the like. Elide travels with the healing train, helping Yrene. She expresses concern over Yrene's health when she witnesses the healer throwing up after cleaning out a wound. Yrene assures her she's fine, just ill from the pregnancy. She offers to heal Elide's ankle, and examines it for her before laying out her options. For her to heal the ankle she would have to re-break all the bones that healed improperly and set them correctly, which would take months of work and be agonizingly painful even with help from magic. Elide would be unable to walk for a while as well. Alternatively she could give her salve to use that would numb the pain to a point, but Elide would develop arthritis and eventually the salve wouldn't work. Elide chooses to wait before deciding.
Dorian Havilliard returns from his search for the third Wyrdkey, and he reunites with Chaol. He is overjoyed to meet Yrene, though she notices a passing sadness in his eyes which quickly disappears. She tells him about her pregnancy. Dorian later tells his story to the assembled group, including that he destroyed Morath. When Yrene learns that the gods will disappear once the Lock is forged she is deeply saddened at the thought that Silba will leave her, as she loves her goddess and is concerned that her powers might disappear as well. Dorian assures her they won't.
When the matter of when to forge the Lock comes up, Yrene argues that she could destroy Erawan with healing magic, thus eliminating the need to risk anyone's lives for the Lock. Chaol disagrees, and Aelin vehemently argues against letting Yrene near Erawan. She shuts down the suggestion, and the matter is closed. Aelin and Dorian forge the Lock the next day.
Miraculously, they both survive. However, the gods renege on their agreement and leave Erawan in Erilea. Aelin is left with only a fraction of her magic, and the situation looks bleak. After a tense meeting to discuss next steps, Yrene stays behind with Chaol and Dorian and angrily states that everyone should have more faith in Aelin, and be grateful that she sealed the Wyrdgate. Chaol idly comforts her, while Dorian muses to himself about how he already adores his friend's wife, and would probably have married her himself had they met before. He misses Sorscha.
The army arrives in Orynth, and Yrene is left with the healers in the rear until ruks can carry her forward. She treats the injured while the Battle of Orynth rages, until Elide draws her attention to the fact that between Maeve and Erawan they are losing. With no options left, Elide lays out a bold new plan.
With help from Lysandra, they fly to Dorian and Chaol's positions. When Chaol spots Yrene he panics and pleads with her to go back, while Elide tells Dorian they need his help. They explain the plan, and Chaol reluctantly makes his peace with Yrene's decision. They say their goodbyes and leave.
Lysandra takes them to the highest tower in Orynth, and Yrene begins sending out waves of healing magic. Erawan breaks from Maeve and follows it, flying up to the tower via an ilken. He lands and advances on Yrene, all the while telling her about his intention to find her all along, only pretending to be afraid. He tells her that in his world those with healing magic are considered extremely powerful and dangerous, capable of unraveling the threads of life. It is through them that he and his brothers cleaved the Wyrdkeys from the Gate. Yrene is powerful enough that she would be able to do it alone, which is why Erawan wants her.
Just as he reaches her, he freezes, trapped by a Wyrdmark on the balcony floor. Yrene smiles at him, and shifts, revealing it was Dorian luring him there. The real Yrene is dropped onto the balcony by Lysandra and sprints towards him; Dorian reinforces the Wyrdmark with his own healing magic and and Elide runs out of the tower with Damaris, stabbing Erawan through the gut and into the floor. Yrene lays her hands on him and pushes her magic into his body, cutting through his own dark power. While she destroys him she blazes up with light, recalling her and Elide's mothers and how they unknowingly led to this moment because of their hope. She thinks of Chaol, and her child, and uses her love for them to strengthen her magic. When it begins to ebb Dorian slices his hand and joins his magic to hers, and together they destroy Erawan completely. He crumbles to nothing. Aelin kills Maeve, and the soldiers of Morath die. Safe at last, the people of Orynth begin chanting Yrene's name.
She finds Chaol in the aftermath of their victory, unconscious from the strain of her power being depleted. She holds him while he wakes up, and they embrace.
Despite being exhausted, Yrene continues to heal the injured in the Great Hall well into the next day. Eventually she is told to go sleep by Hafiza, and the two women discuss their next steps. Hafiza mentions that the Torre healers will be returning to to the southern continent, and Yrene tears up as she tries to tell Hafiza that she won't be going with her. The Healer on High tells her that she understands, and she isn't angry at Yrene, who feels she has wasted Hafiza's time. Hafiza assures her that she hasn't and kisses her on the forehead, telling her that she saved them all. Yrene poses her idea to Hafiza of establishing a Torre Cesme in Rifthold, and her teacher approves.
Yrene later attends Aelin's coronation, and is among the women who the queen takes with her to the balcony to stand with her.
Yrene returns to Chaol and their rooms after the coronation. Chaol has received a letter from his mother. He is too afraid to read it, so Yrene opens it and reads it first. She tells him he better read it himself, but he asks her to just tell him what it says. When she does, he takes it and reads it himself, tears running down his face. His mother wants to come live with him and Yrene once they're settled. He says they're going to need a bigger house and Yrene grins.
When Dorian says goodbye to Manon the next day, Yrene surprises the witch by hugging her, sensing her grieve over the deaths of her coven members. While Manon and Dorian awkwardly discuss their future, Yrene interrupts and says they could just marry each other, to their mortification. Their reaction amuses her and Chaol, and after Manon leaves, smirking at the healer, Yrene and Chaol begin laughing.
Their various allies begin leaving, heading home to rebuild. Yrene bids a tearful goodbye to the Torre healers and Hafiza. Eventually only Chaol, Dorian and her are left. When it's their turn to leave, Yrene tells Aelin to send for her when her first child is about to be born. Rowan is extremely grateful to hear that, as Fae births are difficult. They say their goodbyes and Yrene leaves with her husband and the King of Adarlan, on their way back to Adarlan.
With golden-brown skin and rich brown curly hair with flashes of dark gold, Yrene is considered a beautiful woman, especially accented by her golden-brown eyes. She is sometimes referred to as the Golden Lady due to her features. Celaena remarks that the girl has swift feet, good balance, and is quite intelligent.
Yrene is described as having a slender frame, a small waist and other features that she has been generously blessed with.
Skills and abilities
- Magic: Yrene possesses magic that manifests as the ability to heal.
- Self-defense: Yrene knows basic self-defense, which she learnt from Aelin in Innish and practiced at the Torre Cesme.
- The Assassin and the Healer (first appearance)
- Queen of Shadows (mentioned only)
- Tower of Dawn
- Kingdom of Ash
- The owner of the White Pig Inn, Nolan, only gave Yrene a broom closet under the stairs to sleep in.
- She owned a ring that was passed down through her maternal line of healers, using it as a wedding band to discourage men.
- The note that accompanied the coin purse from Celaena simply said, "For where ever you need to go -- and then some. The world needs more healers."
- For her birthday Chaol gave Yrene a silver locket connected with a chain that Yrene hang around her neck. On the top of it are carved Yrene initials - "Y." "T. "- while the back present carving of mountains and seas, so "she can remember that she climbed mountain and crossed seas to get where she is" (which means that she had made to the Southern Continent, and that she has became the Heir Apparent of the Healer on High). From that moment on - until Kingdom of Ash, when she gave it back to Aelin - Yrene use the locket to keep the note that Aelin in a disguise gave her years prior.
- Yrene chews her lip when she's nervous or deep in thought.
- The Assassin's Blade: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas, pg. 82
- The Assassin's Blade: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas, pg. 85
- The Assassin's Blade: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas, pg. 83
- The Assassin's Blade: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas, pg. 91
- The Assassin's Blade: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas, pg. 114