Kareen yos'Phelium Clan Korval

  • For an in-depth portrayal of Lady Kareen, including memories of her childhood, see the short story Daughter of Dragons, published in Dragon Tide, and in Liaden Universe Constellation volume 2


  • Born 1313, age 80 when clan moves to Surebleak in year 1393[1][2]
    • Daav yos'Phelium: "True enough, Kareen could give him ten years"[3] (rounding down)
    • Kareen: "I am his elder by every one of a dozen Standards. Such a gap in age does not, of course, preclude closeness."[4]
  • See Timeline
  • At age 48-50: handsome women, her dark hair a silky cap adoring a shapely head, and bright stones glittering in pretty ears.[5]
  • At age 78-80, she has "dark hair, now iron grey, and dark eyes[6]
  • aka The Right Noble Lady Kareen yos'Phelium
  • Patron of the Solcintra Poetry Society
  • Founder of the League to Preserve the Purity of the Language
  • Chairperson Emeritus of the Embassy of Form [7]
  • Foremost authority on The Liaden Code of Proper Conduct
    • Took up The Code at roughly age 12, after she successfully solved a melant'i problem for her tutor. Delm Korval (Chi) said, "Your solution was by far the cleanest -- and one not discovered by three Delms after many days of negotiation and research...It is my belief that you have found your calling. Pursue it." "That had been the last time she'd had complete regard of her Delm, or her mother."[8]
  • Not a pilot [3] despite all efforts with equations and Bowli Ball [8]
    • "Kareen said with a touch of acid. "I recall that your own father was -- solidly -- Low House." "But a pilot to marvel at," Daav returned, very gently. "So our mother praised him." Kareen, who was no pilot at all, took a deep breath." [3]
  • Lived in The Grand Lake Townhouses, Solcintra[8]

Kareen's KinEdit

See Korval Kin for full list and relationships

Household on SurebleakEdit

  • Lives on the corner of Dudley Avenue & Farley Lane, Surebleak[9]
  • Professor Kamele Waitley, housemate & partner in research
  • Hazenthull Explorer, whose presence "increased the security and the status of the Lady's household"[9]
  • Gert Jazdak, Security Chief/Head Hand
  • Dafydil (Dilly) Koonts, Second Hand
  • Amiz Braun, Second Hand
  • Scout Historian vey'Loffit, whose presence "increased the security and the status of the Lady's household"[9]
  • Esil Lang, cook

Kareen's Character & Chi's visionEdit

  • Kareen's character fluxes across the series (not always with consistency)
  • Character changes from "the days of her brief youth, when hope had still been high, that Chi yos'Phelium's bright daughter would one day be Delm"[8]
  • To bitterness, when Kareen, roughly 12, learns she is "inadequate to the Clan's needs"[8] and must endure the spite of society ("attempted strikes against Kareen, poor child") [10]
  • Arguing against the "outmoded" pilot-as-delm requirement, young Kareen told her mother Chi that "adhering to a protocol made in the last universe during a time of war and strife did active harm to a clan residing in a time and universe of relative peace and prosperity."[10]
  • She did not welcome Chi's contract husband, Fer Gun pen'Uldra, but she did offer a show of support to her mother [10]
  • Kareen becomes a master of m'lanti, language, and The Code. "Kareen, on the other hand, was a brilliant scholar, gifted in the field of social science, valuable to her clan..."[10]
  • But apparently cold, spiteful, even occasionally malicious
    • Lady Kareen was unable to give her child, Pat Rin, the loving environment he needs, so Delm Korval (Daav) asked kindly Luken bel'Tarda to foster the boy.[3][11]
    • Lady Kareen was spiteful towards Er Thom and Anne [12] and towards Daav and Aelliana.[13] She misused her position in society to cause heartache:
      • "So." It was a hiss. "Er Thom yos'Galan is to be allowed a bastard mongrel [Shan]"[11]
  • Kareen was so malicious that Daav thought of killing her, but for Chi's vision:
    • "Alone of all the orders he had from his mother, who had been delm before him, the mandate to preserve Kareen's life stood, senseless. It was doubtless some failing of his own vision that he could not see what use she was to the delm she continually worked to thwart."....."Perhaps as he grew older...he would acquire the vaunted Delm's Vision and see what his mother had found worth preserving in Kareen."[3]
  • Perhaps to spite young Val Con and Shan, she never addressed Jeeves by name ("the robot").[8]
  • Denigrated Trader Shan yos'Galan for skimmer racing, which led to a few icy confrontations with Scout Captain Val Con yos'Phelium, who had always felt echoes of childhood rejection from her (see A Day at the Races)

However, ever since Operation Plan B went into motion, Kareen has been changing:

  • While escaping her home on Liad, Kareen calls Jeeves by name and thanks him. She also begins to remember various scenes with her brother Daav -- "no love lost between them"-- and to miss him.[8] See Daughter of Dragons
  • While on Runig's Rock, Kareen is fiercely protective of the children, putting herself in the way of a possible enemy attack. [14] See Hidden Resources
  • While on Surebleak, Kareen restrains from embarrassing Kamele (a Terran!) as she learns to speak Liaden: "The elderly lady's patience remained unruffled. She mildly corrected those infelicities of mode produced by her companion."[15]
  • Kareen is finally -- decades behind her kin -- seeking to "converse in Terran so she might perfect her skill" -- with help from Kamele Waitley[16]
  • She commends Rys of The Bedel for coming to dinner in his best clothing, despite their colorful mismatch [17]

Yet Kareen hasn't wholly and improbably changed since leaving Liad behind. Theo has the sense to tread warily around "the stiff old lady glowering in her chair."[18]

  • In hindsight, one wonders whether Liad's culture brought out the worst in Kareen:
    • She [Aelliana] must have been remarkable," Kamele said. "We were not friends," Kareen answered. She looked at the portrait, her brows drawn, as if trying to recall why that had been."[4]

  • Note: Lord of the Dance has been removed from the official series canon, so Kareen's horrible behavior and unexpected ability in that story isn't included here.

Kareen's Culture Study on SurebleakEdit

Lady Kareen yos'Phelium: "It is my duty to deduce Surebleak's society before it is fractured yet again, and its core hidden forever....That is why I must be located in the city." [19]

  • Possibly, this work explains why Kareen's mother, Chi yos'Phelium, told Daav that he must preserve Kareen's life, even when she was thwarting clan members[3] (see section above, on Kareen's character)
  • See Surebleak Culture Study


  • Lady Kareen "did not keep cats, or any other domestic creature, aside the occasional servant."[20]


  1. I Dare
  2. The Updated But Partial Liaden Universe(r) Time Line
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Local Custom, ch 7
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dragon in Exile, ch 10
  5. mouse and dragon, ch 8
  6. Hidden Resources
  7. A Day At The Races
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Daughter of Dragons, in Dragon Tide, and in A Liaden Universe Constellation, volume II
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dragon in Exile,ch 17
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Due Diligence
  11. 11.0 11.1 Local Custom, ch 23
  12. Local Custom
  13. Mouse and Dragon
  14. Hidden Resources
  15. Dragon in Exile, ch 1
  16. Dragon in Exile, ch 10
  17. Dragon in Exile, ch 5
  18. Ghost Ship, ch 28
  19. Dragon in Exile, ch 14
  20. Heirloom
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.