Esther Volant is the master storyteller in Thermala. This white-haired woman wears magnificent damask robes embroidered with gold dragons emerging from the sea. She believes entirely in the existence of angels, centaurs, and mermaids. She was born and raised in Thermala, never married or bore children, and has been only once down the mountain, when she was seventeen. She prepares her epic puppet shows for all the children and cubs, aided by little figures of bread dough, which she bakes fresh each morning and gives to them to eat when the stories are over. Unfortunately, she refused to allow Arthur Denison to paint her portrait.