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"Verity... A girl with red hair who loved the birds, and the sea. A lighthouse keeper's daughter, who rowed in a little red boat, and fished, and painted pictures of what she saw around her. What happened to her? Why does her shade linger here?"
Lief

Verity
Verity
Biographical information
Alternative name(s)

Witch (by Laughing Jack's crew)

Tribe

None, lived in the Bone Point Lighthouse in Amethyst territory

Home

Bone Point Lighthouse (formerly)
The Lady Luck (bound to the stern of the ship, formerly)

Age

Around 16-17 (around Jasmine's age)

Status

Deceased (murdered by Laughing Jack)

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Female

Eye colour

Grey (as figurehead. It is unknown if her eyes were grey in human form, but it is implied)

Hair colour

Red

Skin colour

Pale white

Personal information
Relatives

Red Han (father)
Unnamed mother, who died when Verity was 1 year old.†

Allies

Seabirds, Red Han

Enemies

Laughing Jack, his crew

Weapon of choice

Magic

Chronological and political information
Profession

Painter

Position

Daughter of the Keeper of the Light at the Bone Point Lighthouse

First appearance

Isle of the Dead (only appearance)

Verity was the daughter of Red Han, the Keeper of the Bone Point Lighthouse. She was taken ransom by Laughing Jack to blackmail Red Han into putting out the Light by orders of the Shadow Lord, however Verity successfully managed to stay alive for thirteen days at sea, tied to the prow of Captain James Gant's (also known as Laughing Jack's) ship, The Lady Luck, through her strong will, magic and help from seabirds that fed her. At last, James Gant murdered Verity by stabbing, but not before Verity left a curse over the ship and bound Jack to an oath he made with his crew and was turned into a figurehead by her magic. When Jack was later tricked into breaking the oath, he was transported to his ship and forced below deck by his crew, who were now undead, and the ship sank. The curse had been lifted, and the figurehead, Verity, had gone, free at last to rest in peace.[1]

History

Early life

Before the Torans broke their vow and refused sanctuary to King Endon, Red Han was the keeper of the Bone Point light. Red Han's daughter, Verity, was born in the lighthouse to an unknown mother, who died when Verity was only one year old, and was raised by Red Han single-handedly. Verity grew up breathing air filled with Toran magic from her earliest days, and somehow had powerful gifts of her own, though she was unaware of it for a time. Red Han lived alone in the lighthouse with Verity as his only company for about 20 years, however, he made a mistake and gambled away a large sum of money to Captain James Gant of The Lady Luck, a man known later as Laughing Jack. In order to pay off his debt, Red Han was forced to make a choice — either put out the Bone Point Light forever, or give up his daughter, Verity. Red Han refused to put out the Light, and James Gant dragged Verity from the lighthouse with a knife to her throat and took her away to his ship.

Gant tied Verity to his ship as the figurehead, hoping that her father would see her, give in and put out the Light in return for his daughter's safety. However, both Verity and her father were strong and did not give in; Gant demanded that Verity call for her father, but she remained silent. James Gant said to Verity: "Sound carries well across water. Red Han will hear you if you scream. You would do well to begin now. The sooner he gives in, the sooner you will be free." Verity replied: "My father will never give in, James Gant, and I will never call to him." "Fine words," James Gant hissed. "But they will not last. Soon you will be begging for food and water, beaten to rags by the wind and the waves. And then the hungry birds will come. You will scream loud enough when they begin to feast on you, girl, make no mistake."

The appearance of terror and evil in her life, in the form of Captain James Gant, awakened Verity's dormant magic, and Verity became aware of her special gifts. Verity remained tied to the figurehead, and, to the shock and fear of James Gant and his crew, began receiving berries and water from the birds, who knew her to be a kind and gentle soul, rather than being feasted on by them, as James Gant had predicted. Furthermore, there had been not a wave or breath of wind since the girl came on board.

Verity painting

Verity's magical painting aboard The Lady Luck.

Thirteen days passed with Verity still tied to the ship's prow, refusing to die, and the sea and the wind still did not move. Fearing witchcraft, the sailors demanded that Gant free Verity. Gant shouted for them to stop and told them that the Shadow Lord had just given him news that at dawn that day the Belt of Deltora was broken. He revealed to Verity that the king and queen had fled from Del at dawn and sought refuge at Tora, but the Torans had refused them and were swept away, exiled by their ancestors' magic, leaving the Light burning only by Red Han's accord.

Verity was distraught to learn that nothing protected the Bone Point Light, but she still did not give in. Gant ordered his men to man the oars and row the ship to the River Tor, to escape a storm coming from the east. However, the crew believed the storm to be Verity's work and again demanded that Gant free her, but as he refused their emotions feverishly rose to a mutiny. But James Gant was sly and told them that if they went below deck and rowed, they could have all the gold he kept in the ship's games room, and, if he ever took a piece of the gold for himself, he himself would take to the oars. Verity, overhearing, shouted from the prow "I hear your words, James Gant, and they will bind you!" The men payed no heed to Verity's words, and James Gant promised that the crew's time at the oars would not be long at that their replacements would soon be found, because humans came into the gaming room often. Sooner or later the fools borrowed, and could not repay their debt. Scrawn pointed out that that was because for every coin that they borrowed, 3 must be payed back. James Gant said that although the sign said "Take what you need, pay what you owe before you depart", that the guests "mistake it's meaning, and assume the two sums are the same." When the crew laughed, Verity again cried out from the prow

The men paid no mind to Verity, and they sealed the deal. The moment the deal was finalised, the crew vanished from the deck, by Verity's magic, leaving her and Gant alone. Verity whispered that she had warned Gant. Enraged, Gant spun around and stabbed Verity in the heart with his knife. Although Verity's magic had been awakened not long ago, it was too late for her powers to save her life, but she managed to leave behind a magical moving painting of the lighthouse and the coast in one of the mirrors lining the walls of the games room with the power of her own mind, a perfect copy of what she could see from her place at the prow, in memory of what she had lost.

As the first drops of Verity's blood touched the water below, the ocean began to rage into a violent storm. The water heaved and washed up over Verity, transforming her into a wooden figurehead, its hands clasped over her heart as it stared out to sea. The water consumed The Lady Luck, and Gant was only able to escape thanks to the Shadow Lord's interventions.

At times, The Lady Luck was known to reappear on the waters of the western sea, as well as the River Tor, only to vanish. The people living close to Bone Point feared the lighthouse and the ship, and both gained the reputation of being a cursed. Gant's crew remained under deck rowing the ship, for eighteen years, now undead, waiting for the day came when their places would be taken or Verity's curse on the ship would be lifted.[1]

Isle of the Dead

Theladyluck

The Lady Luck with Verity as the wooden figurehead

Eighteen years after Verity died and cursed The Lady Luck, King Lief, Captain Barda, and Jasmine first encountered Verity when they and their Kin companions were forced to land on a narrow strip of land in western Deltora called Bone Point. They took refuge from the growing storm in the Bone Point Lighthouse, and begun to unravel Verity's tale as echoes of the past started to show themselves in visions, through the Toran magic that the lighthouse was steeped in. The three companions quickly recognised Captain James Gant as a younger Laughing Jack.

Later, while attempting to take flight from the top of the lighthouse, a strong wind caused Lief and Barda to fall from their Kins' pouches and drop into the water of the sea. In the water, they could no longer see the shore, as the air had suddenly been filled with mist. Then The Lady Luck out of the mist. Lief and Barda climed unto the decaying ghost ship. They saw the figurehead of Verity at the prow and Lief recognised her. On deck, they witnessed how Verity was tied to the prow in another vision. Soaked and icy cold, they sought shelter through a door leading to a some steep steps that led them down to two more doors: one of flat metal and one of richly carved wood panel that led to the ship's games rooms room. Hoping the metal door was a way to the crews' sleeping quarters, they tried it first, however they discovered that it in fact led into the belly of the ships, where the dead chained rowers sat. Suddenly witnessing the dead rowers stir, Lief quickly slammed the door and they both made their way into the games rooms. However, when inside they found themselves trapped with no way out, as they found a magical barrier preventing them to go back through the door. The two found the magical moving painting left in one of the mirrors by Verity, which had sevene errors. They discovered that everytime they touched an area with an error, it would be corrected an a scene from the past would play inside the painting. The two witnessed the final days of Verity's life.

With every scene witnessed, the undead rowers that had once been Jack's crew, became increasingly restless, and at last they began to come up through the floor of the games room and tried to attack the two companions and force them to replace them as rowers. When Lief and Barda finally found all seven errors and seen all visions of the past, the Light of the lighthouse on Verity's magical painting shone bright, revealing a path across the games room, which had become dark as the lights hanging from the ceilings had died out. The Light shone on the door that were the only way out, and it began to open, and Lief and Barda hurried out through it, this time not hindered by any barrier.

Later, after Lief, Barda and Jasmine had been reunited and returned from the Isle of the Dead, having destroyed the Sister of the West, they were met by Laughing Jack, who had disguised himself as Ava to fool them. However, Jack was tricked by Jasmine into taking her money bag which contained one of the gold coins that he had promised to his crew eighteen years ago. Then his own voice came floating to him across the water, echoing through the years. All the gold is yours, my loyal crew. If I take one piece of it for my own, I myself will take to the oars. I swear it on my soul! His face became a mask of horrified disbelief. He stared at the money bag in his hand. He screamed. Then he was gone, and all that remained where he had stood was Ava's feathered cloak, collapsing silently onto the ground. Shuddering, Lief swung around to look at the place where he had last seen The Lady Luck. The ship was still visible. It was very near. And it was no longer deserted, no longer still, no longer silent. I hear your words, James Gant, and they will bind you... The ringing voice was Verity's. The wooden figurehead was turning, turning to gaze with clear, painted eyes at the skull-faced man scrabbling on the deck in an agony of fear. And without emotion, hard as the wood of which it was made, it watched as rotting arms reached for him, and dragged him below.

Then the ship sank, however just before it disappeared, Lief observed that the figurehead had vanished. Barda later stated that this meant that Verity had been released from the curse of the ship and could now rest in peace.[1]

Physical appearance

Verity was a girl around Jasmine's age, with long red hair and pale white skin. She wore loose fitting, flowing clothes, perhaps reminiscent of the ocean she loved so much. She loved bright and happy colours, and was wearing a yellow skirt in Barda's vision of her on the shore. When Laughing Jack kidnapped her, Verity was wearing a long blue robe with large sleeves, hastily thrown over her nightgown. As a figurehead, she remained dressed in the long blue robe, although it was made of wood like the rest of her. The figurehead sat at the prow of Jack's ship, The Lady Luck, stared out to sea, leaning forward slightly, with her hands clasped over her heart.

Verity's eyes when in the form of the figurehead were grey, but it is unknown if her eyes were grey in human form as well, though it is implied as Lief saw a familiarity in the figurehead's face, with "its stubborn chin, its steady grey eyes."[1]

Personality

Verity had a happy and bubbly personality, fiercely loyal to both her father and to her land. She refused to give in to the tortures of James Gant, and her pure and honest soul condemned him and his crew to their fates. The birds of the sea who fed her berries recognised her to be a kind and gentle soul. She enjoyed painting, fishing, and the sea.[1]

Abilities

Verity had remarkable magical abilities, though they remained dormant and unknown to her throughout most of her life until her late teenage years when they were awakened by the appearance of terror and evil in her life in the form of Laughing Jack. The powers allowed Verity to see the truth in any situation, and her painting of truth helped Lief and Barda find their escape when they were trapped in the gambling room of The Lady Luck, where she had left the painting in one of the mirrors lining the room with the power of her mind before dying. Her consciousness seemed to be maintained within the wooden figure and it was possible that she could communicate telepathically even in this state, since Lief and Barda both heard a voice within their minds that told them to flee The Lady Luck. She also had the ability to bind people to their oaths. She had also been fed berries by seabirds who knew her to be kind, and the waters of the sea had washed up onto the ship to transform her into the figurehead of The Lady Luck, presumably through Verity's own will.[1]

Relatives

Red Han
   
   
Unknown
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Verity
   
   

Appearances

Deltora Quest

Deltora Quest 3

Trivia

  • The name Verity is derived from the Latin word veritas which means "truth".
  • It is possible that Verity had Fellan blood — her red hair and magic abilities are both characteristics of the Fellan people. However, her power did not seem to be affected by the salt of the Silver Sea. Lief theorised, however, that Verity had gained magical powers because she grew up breathing air filled with Toran magic from her earliest days. Another theory is that her mother, who we know nothing of, is Toran.
  • Verity was tied to the prow of The Lady Luck for exactly thirteen days before being stabbed to death by Laughing Jack.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rodda, Emily. Isle of the Dead. Scholastic Australia. 2004.

See also

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