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Riil is an Elantrian on Sel. He was originally a laborer on a plantation and had been studying with the journeymen in hopes of becoming an apprentice before he was taken by the Shaod.
Raoden recognizes that Riil's intelligence and workman build and ethics are a valuable combination. He gives Riil, Maare, and Mareshe the task of first finding a way to build a roof with their limited resources and then building said roof over one of the larger buildings in New Elantris.