With fiery red hair common in his tribe, the Gonnamdi, but rare in the rest of the world, Sha'di immediately catches the attention of those around him, especially in the Grey Mist where red is a colour closely associated with the gods. Sha'di is chosen by the Rhagepe to speak for the Goddess of Rebirth, to find and heal the corruption in the heart of the Grey Mist, and help save the world from the wrath of the gods.
Life Before the Series
Sha'di's father died when he was very young. His mother Ta'shan, a Rhagepe who spoke for the Goddess of Rebirth, died shortly thereafter during the birth of her second child. Sha'di was raised as a child of the tribe.
Sha'di was completely committed to the woman he loved, Nnenne, and had never even understood one could have a life outside the Sea of Sand. However, because he was never much of a hunter, and had no connection to the gods like his mother or Nnenne had, he often felt useless to his tribe.
In the Novels
Seeing a chance to finally prove himself, Sha'di is eager enough to volunteer to be one of the three chosen messengers. Because he chooses the llama skull, he is sent east by himself towards the Grey Mist.
Before he leaves his tribe, he is gifted a falcon by the Gonnamdi chief. He eventually names the falcon after Nnenne. Having travelled to the Grey Mist and found the Petzuhallpa who live there, Sha'di is met with frustration by the size of the kingdom and the difficulty crossing it in order to find the leader of the Petzuhallpa.
Fortuitously the Petzuhallpa hold the Gogepe in high regards, and because of his red hair they think of him as a holy man. Tanuk, the regent of Chultunyu, decides to take Sha'di north to Chipetzuha - where Tanuk believes Sha'di can help him win a political battle, and where Sha'di simply hopes to spread his warning about the gods' wrath.
Although the Grey Mist seems like a paradise at first, with endless food and fresh water, Sha'di is horrified by the darker sides of their culture. Sha'di knows there is more to his mission than just warning the Petzuhallpa that a great flood will come, that he also must convince them to change their ways before it's too late.
When first introduced he is described as being "tall and strong" with "red hair and a beard cropped short. [He] had many tattoos, each representing a phase in [his] life; coming of age; making [his] first kill." As for his Ancestral Cloak: "He was only the second man to wear it in his line. His father had been the youngest son, and so only given the leg bones – the least important – of his father. But as the eldest son Sha’di had been given his father’s rib bones to add to the cloak."
- ↑ Chapter: "The Whisperers of the Gods, The ocean shall rise up and swallow the land"
- ↑ Chapter: "The Grey Mist, The temple burned around her"