- "I once defied Maldor. Bad choice. Worst choice. The more you defy him, the more you deify him. He is the puppet master. He holds all the strings."
- — Nedwin
Nedwin is one of the characters involved in the mission to save Lyrian. He is Galloran's squire, and is unwaveringly loyal to him. Nedwin is a minor character in A World Without Heroes, a supporting character in Seeds of Rebellion, where he serves as a scout alongside Ferrin, and a major character in Chasing the Prophecy, where he is given multiple chapters from his point of view after Galloran instates him as Duke of Geer in his absence. Nedwin is described as being an abnormally tall man with curly red hair and freckles. He first appears to have an off-putting personality, though it is explained later on that he lost his mind after being tortured for over a decade in the dungeons of Felrook.
Nedwin comes from a noble family. His brother, Tristan, was the Earl of Geer, however he was stripped of his title by Copernum. Nedwin grew up in Trensicourt, and as a boy enjoyed sneaking out in lowborn attire to watch comedies at a cheap theater in the area. From a young age, he was good at climbing, sneaking, and blending in with a crowd. He idolized Galloran, who noticed his abilities, and when Nedwin was about thirteen, Galloran took him on as a squire.
Perhaps a few months later, Nedwin, Galloran, and a few others were on a mission to deliver the Word to Maldor. However, they were ambushed by conscriptors in the middle of the night. Nedwin managed to get away, as Galloran had entrusted him with the secret of the Word. But, feeling guilty at leaving his master behind, Nedwin crept up on Galloran's captors. He flung an orantium sphere at the head conscriptor, Groddic, but he caught it in mid-air and it failed to explode. Nedwin was then captured as well. He spent years being tortured in the dungeons of Felrook, being used as an experiment subject to test different drugs. At some point, Copernum tortured him as well, using nervesong, a pain enhancer. Due to the constant use of nervesong, Nedwin eventually lost the ability to feel physical pain, but his hearing and sight were greatly enhanced. He was also given two invasive graftings: an eye on his hand and a false outer ear. By the time he was freed, after years of torment, he was almost completely insane, and spend most of his time in the wilderness, collecting poisons. At some point before Jason and Rachel came to Lyrian, it seems that Nedwin came to reside in a small fishing town called Flet, as he was recognized by Kerny, the bartender of the local Tavern-Go-Round.
A World Without Heroes
Nedwin met Jason and Rachel in Flet, wearing a sack with holes cut for his arms. He trailed them, and interrogated Kerny about the identities of the kids. He stopped trailing them after Kerny repeatedly told him to shove off. That night, Nedwin intruded upon Jason's room in a threatening manner, spouting inane sentences about animals, speaking cryptically about Maldor, and threatening to reveal the displacer's eye grafted on his hand, and frightening the boy who took out a knife in self defense. Nedwin stole the knife from Jason, astonished to find that the weapon bore the mark of his master, and questioned Jason about it. After finding out that Jason was on a quest from Galloran, Nedwin promised to scout for him and Rachel. After warning the two of them of the intruders approaching their rooms and helping the kids escape, Nedwin used Jason and Rachel's trail to find Galloran, whom he had lost track of for quite some time.
Seeds of Rebellion
After he found Galloran, Nedwin helped his master regain some of his lost memories by giving him small doses of canopy cobra venom (he had collected many different samples of toxins and poisons in the time he had been free). Later, Nedwin was sent by Galloran to retrieve Jugard from his pointless guardianship of the syllable. Nedwin found the man already dead, stabbed in the back multiple times. By the time he brought his body back to Fortaim, the castle had been raided by Maldor's forces. Jason, Rachel, Aram, and Ferrin met him at this point, and they found that Galloran and some of his retinue had escaped through a secret passage.
Nedwin served as a scout for the group as they made their way to attempt to save the rest of the guardians of the Word and enlist the support of the Amar Kabal. He used a powder that he had concocted in order to keep any animals off of their trail. While he was preparing this powder one day, he ended up in a conversation with Jason, telling him about his time spent in Felrook. He mentioned that his captors would dose him with nervesong, a pain agent, and then would slap him, cut him, and even drill his teeth, and that he eventually lost the ability to feel pain entirely because of the drug. Nedwin mentioned that he hoped to dose Copernum, one of his chief tormentors, with nervesong someday. Jason expressed sympathy, which Nedwin seemed uncomfortable about, telling him "We all have misery to bear."
During their travels, Ferrin discovered that Nedwin had a displacer ear and was thus inadvertently giving their enemies an advantage. Ferrin and Galloran began giving Nedwin false information during this time until Ferrin was able to remove the ear. After cutting the ear off with a hot knife, Ferrin poisoned it to harm the spy it belonged to. He cut out the eye on Nedwin's hand while he was at it. Nedwin took a dose of nervesong so the spies on the other end would suffer. Nedwin, on the other hand, felt only a small amount of pain. The group continued on their way to the Sunken Lands, where Nedwin served as a scout and guide. During this time, he and Drake managed to bring Corrinne out of the swamp to the relative safety of the rest of the group. When the group left the Sunken Lands and made their way to the Seven Vales, they began to be trailed closely by imperial soldiers. Nedwin was able to stop imperial soldiers in pursuit by triggering an avalanche with orantium. After arriving at the Seven Vales, Nedwin fainted, and was discovered to have contracted advanced lungrot, and was close to death. He was able to get help in time, and while he was recovering, he discovered that the treatment for lungrot had enhanced his sense of taste, allowing him to enjoy food that otherwise tasted bland to him due to a side-effect of his torture at Felrook. Nedwin continued to serve as a scout for the group as they traveled throughout Ebera and several other locations. While in Ebera, Nedwin secretly collected a sample of Goma Worms, knowing that nobody in the group would approve. In her prophecy, Esmira sent him on Galloran's half of the quest.
Bonus Scene: Oracular Interviews
In the Seeds of Rebellion bonus scene, “Oracular Interviews”, Nedwin is interviewed by the oracle, Esmira. After the oracle reads his palm, she recoils in shock, telling him that she has never sensed such suffering. She asks if he wishes to die, and Nedwin affirms it, telling her that he is only alive for Galloran, and that the thought of him keeps him sane. Nedwin expresses worries that he will not be able to stay sane, and the oracle again takes his palm. She tells him that she believes he cannot be broken. Nedwin also asks the oracle if there is anything to do about his nightmares, and the oracle sadly tells him that there is nothing she can do. As Nedwin prepares to leave the room, the oracle tells Nedwin that she admires him.
Chasing the Prophecy
After taking the throne, Galloran instated Nedwin as regent of Trensicourt while he went off to war. Nedwin was distraught at this decision as he would be unable to protect Galloran, and would be in a position to let him down.
While Nedwin was regent, Copernum, the former chancellor, managed to take over Trensicourt. After leading several missions to harm the cause of the leaders of the city, Nedwin sneaked into Copernum's room one night and beheaded him. However, to his shock, Copernum did not die, for he was actually a displacer. Copernum then fatally stabbed Nedwin. However, just before his death, Nedwin ingested goma worms from Ebera, which he had a sample of. A day or so later, he awoke, hanging from a noose in the rain. While now technically dead, Nedwin used this to his advantage, crashing a feast headed by Copernum and some of his main counselors and throwing globes of orantium everywhere. After Copernum and his men were dead, Nedwin knew that he must prevent the plague of Ebera from ravaging the land, so he lay down in the flames of the fireplace, ending his life completely.
I only have two fears left in me, would you like to know what they are?
From childhood, Nedwin had shown a strong level of tenacity and an unwavering loyalty to Galloran. Nedwin mentioned that in his youth, he was something of a social creature. In adulthood, however, he preferred solitude. Nedwin was described by Galloran as being clever, articulate, smart, and sensitive.
Nedwin was introduced to the series exhibiting strange mannerisms and trailing the main characters in a way that appeared hostile and creepy. Later on in the series, Nedwin’s strangeness was shown to be the after-effects of spending over a decade in captivity, being tortured ruthlessly by Maldor’s minions and spending time in Copernum’s personal dungeon until his mind was completely shattered. After being released from Copernum's dungeon, Nedwin had difficulty reintegrating back into society and spent the majority of his time in the jungle, collecting extracts and poisons from dangerous plants and animals. He was self-aware of his own mental instability and considered himself to have a "defective personality", believing that he belonged out in the wilderness, estranged from society. Nedwin's madness was shown through a lack of perception of personal space, as he trailed Rachel and Jason too closely when they first met and entered Jason’s room at the inn without Jason’s approval. He also exhibited other symptoms of mental illness such as inappropriate laughter and disordered speech, uttering nonsensical sentences about animals such as “Ever badgered a badger?” or “Ever outfoxed a fox?". Later on, Nedwin’s ramblings were explained as a coping mechanism that he used while being tortured. He would play word games with himself during his time at Felrook in order to distract himself from his trauma. Nedwin mentioned to Rachel that he had only two fears left in him: the fear of disappointing Galloran, and the fear for Galloran's safety.
Due to his trauma, Nedwin was tormented by nightmares in which he would often reexperience old memories of torture, feeling an excruciating amount of pain even though he was unable to feel pain during his waking hours. Nedwin disliked attention given to his trauma, acting uncomfortable in response to sympathy given to him by Jason. Nedwin considered his mental instability to be a hinderance and experienced a level of self-loathing over it. He was also shown to have suicidal ideations, mentioning to Rachel: “I’m not afraid to die. Part of me would welcome the release”. Despite having an off-putting personality due to his mental illness, Nedwin was kindhearted and brave, was humble in his own personal achievements, and disliked conflict within the group. Gradually during the series, Nedwin began to recover somewhat from his mental issues, although he was never able to make a full recovery.
- Besides Jason and Rachel, Nedwin, Galloran, and Tark are the only characters to have multiple chapters from their point of view.
- Nedwin's symptoms of mental illness match up closely with the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as psychosis due to his auditory hallucinations. This has not been confirmed as canon, however.
- Just like Nedwin has lost the ability to feel pain, there is a real life disease that causes people to be unable to feel pain called Congenital insensitivity to pain. However, the real disease is rare and dangerous, and the people who suffer from it are at risk of dying early due to unnoticed illnesses or injuries.