Tessla is beautiful, with pale skin that shimmers emerald, black hair, and green eyes.
Tessla is exceptionally intelligent, and has a level of power uncommon in Gardnerian women. She is a gifted apothecary. She is well-known for several creative tonics and elixirs that she developed. She idolized her country and countrymen, but came to realize that they were no different from the Kelts and would horrible kill and hurt anyone who was not like them. When she almost got accused of treason for a crime she did not commit, it did not encourage her support of Gardnerians.
Tessla and her younger brother, Wrenfir, moved to Keltania to live with their grandfather after their parents died. Their grandfather has a small cottage in the village of Doveshire. Before this, Tessla would have to steal to get enough for her and Wrenfir to eat. Wrenfir was also dying because their family could not afford the medicine to cure him.
Tessla is with Merchant and Mistress Darrow, two Kelts of which she sells her medicines to. Tessla is a clever apothecary with remarkable skills. However, Mistress Darrow takes the medicines without paying her a cent. A Kelt named Brandon comes in at this point and restrains Tessla, ridiculing and humiliating her in the process. There is noise outside, and people are running and Gardenians are running everywhere, being captured by Kelts, and thrown into wagons. Tessla realizes a purging is happening, and that her plan of escape to Verpacia is exactly one day late. She hits Brandon, and he becomes enraged. Before Brandon can touch her, Jules Kristian walks through the door, an arrow aimed at Brandon's head.
Brandon backs off, and Tessla seizes the opportunity that Jules has given her. It is here we learn that Jules is Tessla's closest friend. She hides behind a hay bale, and sees the smith carrying a Kelt girl to a stage and her hair is shorn off. Tessla realizes that the girl is the smith's own daughter, Daisie. At that moment, Tessla is dragged up by a huge man, and she struggles to kick free. An ear-shattering shriek then pierces the air, and the hands holding Tessla fall away. The shriek comes from a Kelt dragon flying towards Gardneria, Jules comes and drags Tessla and throws and old grain sack over them. Tessla tells Jules that they have to get to her cottage, in order to get her grandfather's wand. They climb up a peak, and just as they reach it, Tessla sees her cottage go up in flames. She thinks that her grandfather and her eight year old brother Wren are dead, and is distraught. Jules makes a plan in order to bring Tessla into Verpacia, and hide her at the University.
Jules then pulls Tessla into an embrace, but a voice from an ax-paladin stops them. The ax-paladin, along with Urisk geosoldiers and Brandon's crew of Kelts, force Jules and Tessla to walk straight. She realizes they are near a Mage's farm, and that there are people in the barn, with wagons full of Gardnerians being pulled into it. Tessla realizes her grandfather and Wren are in the barn, and she is overjoyed. She also sees a wand poking out from the ax-paladin's belt, a white wand. She then formulates a plan, to get the wand. She does so, and using her magic, and her ability to link spells, sends a torrent of fire through and kills numerous Kelts. She forms her power into a shield and uses it to protect her and the people in the barn. Kelts try and attack the shield, and the impact is reverberated in Tessla and she screams in pain. Jules is looking at Tessla with awe and admiration. Tessla holds the shield for as long as she can, long enough for the girls to find some rotted wood in the barn and break open a passage. The shield eventually breaks, and Tessla collapses to the ground, the layering of the spells completely eaten away at her affinity.
Brandon and the ax-paladin the try to attack her, but they are immediately struck down by blue lightning. Dragons appear from the sky. Tessla thinks that the Kelts have come back, but they're Gardnerian dragons. It bears a lot of Gardnerian soldiers, but the first two to get down are Fain Quillen and Vale Gardner. Vale was the one throwing lightning, and his affinity is clearly fire, whereas Fain's is water. Fain rushes to Tessla's side, and calls out to Vale that he found the shield Mage. Her affinity is stripped bare, and she is weak. Tessla can feel and 'read' affinity lines, and Fain sends a cool stream of water, that cools down Tessla, but she has too much trapped fire. Fain says he has to purge her. Tessla is finally rid of the trapped fire, but now she had no core of her own. She then passes out.
Tessla awakens cold and weak, but there is a warmth near her back, which means that Vale is behind her. Not fully aware of what she is doing, she presses against, him, and sighs at his delicious warmth. Vale pulls back, and says that it isn't right. He becomes very closed off. Tessla goes unconscious again. The next time when she wakes, she feels Vale on her. He tells her that he's pushing as much fire as possible into her, but it isn't enough, and what he wants to try is unorthodox. It's a kiss. Tessla wants to live, so she agrees to it. Immediately, she is filled with warmth, and even when Vale retreats, the warmth is still there. Her fire has been restored, a little weak, but there. She is then rocked into oblivion by the gentle rock of the horse.
Tessla loses and regains consciousness very often, and picks up on certain things. She registers Fain and Vale, and the fact that they are in a bright Ishkartan tent. She is strong enough to open her eyes a bit, but she can her Vale and Fain talking to each other. Fain is praising Tessla, stating that Vale should fast to her, before she is taken. Vale makes harsh comments about Tessla, stating that her looks are tolerable in a rustic sort of way, and that she probably doesn't even know how to read. Fain says clearly that he thinks that Vale is being a complete and utter ass.
At the age of eighteen, Tessla becomes wandfasted to Vale Gardner. Tessla had charges of stae'n against her, as it was rumoured that she was intimate with Jules Kristian, a Kelt, and later a history teacher at Verpacia University. She was originally going to be fasted to Malkyn Bane, who believed that she was indeed Jules's woman, and would not be able to wandfast. However, Vale steps in right before Carnissa Gardner can bind them and states that Tessla is promised to him. Tessla is shocked as not only does he fast to her, he seals it. This means that the consummation of the sealing should occur that very night.
Tessla is distraught, but then she realizes that if Vale didn't step in, she would have been permanently bound to a monster
Their fasting produces three children: Rafe, Elloren, and Trystan Gardner.
Tessla is at least a Level Four Mage. Her strongest affinity is fire. Tessla also has the rare skill of being able to "read" the affinities of other Mages. Normally only Level Five Mages can do so. As an apothecary, she was genuine genius with potions, even when she was using substandard ingredients.
Vale and Tessla are fastmates. While their marriage was an arranged one and they initially disliked each other, they ended up falling in love. Tessla initially thought he was sleeping with Fain.