Lafayette KindlesFlame

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A portrait of the character

A cosmopolitan Tam-illee healer, mentor to Jahir Seni Galare. Variously spelled as Lafeyette and Lefeyette.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Gray eyes. A distinguished, self-contained air, a thoughtful face, shrewd eyes that did not quite conceal their kindness. [1] A middle-aged Tam-illee, confident and easy in his own skin. [2] Also has a commanding rather than retiring personality, but doesn't make close friends easily.[3] Smells like pine duff. Probably because "loves hiking." Enjoys outdoor sports: hiking, horseback riding (though he last rode horses in his twenties, they're rarer in the Alliance), did some archery. Eats heartily ("I've got a chop for you, Professor Palland said you like them.")[3]

Not a physically demonstrative man; the first time he and Jahir hugged was after Haladir's surgery[3], and he surprised Armin Palland by embracing him when the Seersa came to Escutcheon.[4] Despite this, he consented to mind-melded surgery, and will operate that way with Eldritch.[3]


Was not born on Tam-ley and does not have family there.[5]

Former Dean of the Seersana University medical college, and former head of its student clinic. Also a professor. Healer-surgeon: first license was acute visceral, second was reconstructive. Did time in crisis care. [6] Also has been friends for 'time out of mind' with the residency program director (Grace Levine) at Mercy Hospital on Selnor.[7]

Attended a professional conference on Tam-ley at the end of Dreamhearth, which allowed him to stop over to visit Starbase Veta.

At the opening of Dreamstorm, we see that he has gone on sabbatical after being at the university for 'three decades'. At this time he's been single again for 'a good two decades', which would put his divorce (I think) before the events of Mindtouch. Interviewed for the Head of Staff at the civilian hospital at Veta, but didn't accept. Went on conference circuit instead, did some lectures.


Post Chatcaavan War[edit]

After the Battle of Selnor, "shut everyone out," volunteered to go to Tam-ley (and was rejected--too many people asking to help, not enough space). Went to the Seersana orbitals, hoping to find a ship, ended up working on the welcome station, because so many of the casualties were shipped to Seersana and Karaka'Ana from Selnor: did triage there for most of a year before everyone was stood down. Worked himself "to a ghost", according to Kandara. Came home, when they were sent away, and couldn't handle doing nothing...[5] then went on sabbatical to a remote mountain town on Seersana.[8] Vasiht'h invited him to Jahir's wedding, during which he decided to stay and take on the surgical unit at Shield General. By late autumn, after the birth of Vasiht'h's children, Lafayette is whole enough, spiritually, to register as well to Armin Palland when the Seersa arrives to Escutcheon: "It was good to see how clearly Lafayette had healed from the blow he'd taken with Tam-ley's wounds."[9]

Also, by the time Palland arrives, KindlesFlame has already selected the land he wants to live on, but is still in the planning phase for what he wants to build on it. (But it sounds like a ranch to Palland.)[10]


  • Ex-wife; they parted over their childlessness.[11]
  • Long-time friends with Kandara, Grace Levine (at the time of Jahir's residency, they'd been friends for for twelve years).[12]
  • More recently, friends with Palland: good enough for Lafayette to promise him anything in response to a request for help.[13]


From a book he read in his early teens: "The man of moral courage kindles flame in all the lives he touches, and so passes the torch through generations that lights the hearths of the worlds."


  • "The most effective medicine is often the least invasive." [14]
  • "Medicine is ninety percent indigestion, lifestyle adjustments, and head colds and ten percent heroic measures. Don't lose sight of that."[14]
  • "Keep going. If there's no map, there will always be people who assume you're lost. Prove them wrong." [15]
  • "It's a long game, arii. And in the long game, courage gets us home." [16]
  • "I like it here. I like the people, both native and immigrant. I like the energy of it. I like the knotted up politics and cultural issues, because when you’ve got issues, you’re alive. Only corpses are problem-free."[4]
  • "Curiosity also kills foxes."[17]


  • learned to use eyesight, hearing, smell as diagnostic tools, along with the technological ones
  • Mentioned Iley ("Iley's tears", "Iley Everlasting, "laughing god", "Everlaughing God") but I don't think he's devout, does use 'hell' (singular); also curses (not often, but 'damn' and 'rhack' once in a while)


  • prefers black coffee, sweetens it with honey; also drinks it iced; rarely dilutes it
  • appears to prefer savories to sweets (likes cheese but has eaten caramels) and hearty meals
  • but likes sweets as well (saw you drinking cider there, buddy)
  • Also drinks alcohol
  • likes big open floor plans and clean uncluttered spaces in his living areas, and big windows on preferably pristine wilderness[8]
  • likes 1940s-style singing: torch singers and crooners (male and female both) [18]

Body Language[edit]

KindlesFlame appears to have the reserved-but-casual body language of an early film star heartthrob. Lots of crossed arms, leaning on doors, leaning back. He also has the long-legged guy habit of sitting with his legs folded (ankle on opposite knee). On top of that, some learned professorial hand gesturing: mid-air finger counting ('point one... point two'), finger wagging, and hand up to stop students from interrupting him. Lifting hand palm up to underscore points.

Jahir observes in Mindtouch that the Tam-illee's control over his ears, expression and shoulders is flawless. [7] And again in Dreamhearth: "Few expressions crossed the Tam-illee's face that he did not allow."[19] He rarely shows unease (as with flicked back ears).

Most of his subconscious/uncontrolled body language is related to thinking: He taps tables or desks while thinking, does the 'mmm' thing. Laughter tends to come out as barks, but he does a lot of less animated laughing: chuckles, guffaws. Grins easily, often wry.


  1. Mindtouch, Chapter 4
  2. Dreamstorm, chapter ?
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Healer's Wedding, Chapter 13
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fathers' Honor, Chapter 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 Healer's Wedding, Chapter 8
  6. Mindline
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mindtouch, chapter 34
  8. 8.0 8.1 Healer's Wedding, Chapter 10
  9. Fathers' Honor, Chapter 4
  10. Fathers' Honor, Chapter 8
  11. Healer's Wedding, chapter 18
  12. Mindline, chapter 23
  13. Fathers' Honor, Chapter 11
  14. 14.0 14.1 Mindtouch, chapter 23
  15. Mindline, chapter 29
  16. Dreamhearth, chapter 18
  17. "Silver and Gold," holiday short fiction
  18. Healer's Wedding, chapter 15
  19. Dreamhearth, chapter 5