Chaynal , or Chay , is a fictional character in Melanie Rawn's fantasy novels of the Dragon Prince Trilogy and Dragon Star Trilogy.

Lord of Radzyn Keep, Battle Commander of the Desert

Chay was born in 668, the only son of the Lord of Radzyn Keep, one of the Desert's most prominent athr'im, or Lords. He was fostered at Stronghold, the seat of the Desert, where he quickly proved to be a strong and capable warrior. His spirit for horses and a good battle or dragonhunt impressed Prince Zehava, whose demeanor was much the same. Chay became the son they had always wanted; his own heir, Rohan was a mystery to Zehava. Chay also wondered about Rohan and doubted his talk of peace and laws; the sword and rule through strength were all Chay had ever known.

When not at his Prince's side, Chay ruled the port city of Radzyn, which was the largest port in the Desert. During his rule, Chay obtained the sole shipping rights of the silk trade. This and the quality of Radzyn horses - Chay's biggest passion - made the Lord of Radzyn one of the richest and most powerful athr'im on the Continent.

Dragon Prince Character
Lord Chaynal of Radzyn Keep
Race human
Birth 668, Radzyn, The Desert
Colors ruby, emerald, and sapphire
Titles Lord of Radzyn Keep, Battle Commander of the Desert
Princedom The Desert


When Chay returned to Stronghold as the new Lord of Radzyn Keep, he earned the regard of Prince Zehava's daughter, Tobin. With the aid of Rohan, her younger brother, Chay and Tobin met in secret and fell in love. They were married a year later. They had twin sons, Maarken and Jahni in 693, and two years after that, Chay became Battle Commander of the Desert.

Dragon Prince TrilogyEdit

In 698 Prince Zehava received mortal wounds during a dragon hunt. Chay was able to reach his Prince before a death blow landed, but the man died a few days later. Rohan, Chay's brother-in-law, became Prince of the Desert. Chay remained Battle Commander and aided Rohan in his endeavors at the Rialla, which included a plan to bring peace to the Continent. At first Chay was somewhat wary of the new Prince's dream of peace. He was a warrior and knew no other life; however, under Rohan's reign Chay came to see the benefits of a peaceful land and supported his Prince unfaillingly.

A year later Chay and Tobin had another set of twin sons, Andry and Sorin. Two years after that the plague struck; it claimed Jahni's life. Not long after a war broke out between the Desert and Princemarch, and Chay was called to lead the Desert army in the south, while Rohan was held captive in Feruche. During this time, Chay's heir, Maarken, was sent to squire for him. Maarken was faradhi gifted, something that bothered Chay, though he loved his son dearly. Ever since Tobin had nearly been shadow-lost at Zehava's funeral, Chay had been wary of Sunrunner gifts. He was also deeply concerned for the choices his sons would one day have to make, as was illustrated when Maarken first offered to burn the Faolain RIver bridges with Sunruner's Fire - while the enemy was still on them.

After Rohan was released from Feruche, Chay continued to fight and strategize for his Prince, but he was the person to whom Rohan unburdened his soul. Chay was able to snap Rohan into focusing on the war, and then later to pull Rohan out of the impassive shell the Prince had created. By seeing Rohan's doubts, seeing how the Prince questioned everything and always tried to make the right choices, Chay stopped comparing Rohan to Zehava; he did not see Rohan as lacking any longer. In fact, Chay began to believe in Rohan's dreams of peace and law. He did not want his other sons or grandsons to go to war, when they were barely twelve as Maarken had.

The war ended in a duel between Rohan and High Prince Roelstra. Rohan won and became High Prince and his Sunrunner wife, Sioned, the High Princess. After the long absence, Rohan also had an heir, Pol, who would become Prince of Princemarch once he grew to manhood. Chay was one of the few to know Pol's true heritage: he was Roelstra's grandson.

Over the years there were various attacks, one of which claimed the life of his son, Sorin, but for the main there was peace, and Chay stood by his Prince, protecting the Desert and relishing in the newfound peace.

Dragon Star TrilogyEdit

In 737 the peace was shattered. The Vellant'im, a new, outside threat attacked the Continent intent on destroying the Desert. Chay was called once more to fight a war at his Prince's side as the Battle Commander, this time with his son and heir, Maarken, at his side. Chay had to watch as Radzyn was burned and the Desert forces retreated to Stronghold. There, his beloved Prince and brother died. Sioned set the mighty keep ablaze for his pyre. Grief stricken, Chay followed his new Prince, Pol, but retired his position as Battle Commander to Maarken.

Chay survived the war, fighting by his Prince's side, but lost another son, Andry. After the gruelling victory and the restoration of order and peace, he and Tobin were going to return to Radzyn Keep and restore it to the home and grand port it had once been.

Role in the BooksEdit

Chay is Rohan's 'rock.' He is steady, unwavering in his loyalty, and always there to depend on. This does not mean that he is a flat or boring character; on the contrary, Chay is a full of contradictions and complexities. He is a great warrior and strategist and thrives in battle, yet he loves to breed horses and train them to respond to the gentlest touch. He holds the richest and most powerful port on the Continent and could easily form his own princedom, yet he has only ever wanted Radzyn for himself and his sons. Chay often is the one who knocks Rohan off his high horse, yet when it comes down to the line, there is no one Rohan trusts more (with the possible exception of Sioned).

Throughout the series Chay is a pillar of strength to everyone around him. He does have moments of weakness, usually when one of his family is suffering from faradhi or diarmadhi arts, but the one thing readers can count on in the Dragon Prince Trilogy and Dragon Star Trilogy is Chay.

Maarken, Chay's heir, is made of the same mold.

Family LinksEdit