Taru


See also Taru’s Timeline.

Name adopted by the foundling originally called Michael, and then Michael Raven – the name by which he introduces himself to Alentir – and Gilnir, briefly and primarily by Nantö IV. He was raised on Thursey, an island in the land of the five lakes, as the only son and second child of Domnall and Estrild. His sister is seven years older, and called Linda.

He was given the name Michael by his mother, for when Estrild was a child she had heard the myth of Michael the Messenger – and became fascinated by it, and would frequently climb to the stone circle on a hilltop on Thursey and search for any sign of Michael the Messenger’s grave. She never found it, but still believed it was there.

He is a musician – an ioculer – and a wanderer.

He leaves his home during a period of unrest and travels initially north, spending time with the Thunderbird Clan in Pohjah, before heading south. He ends up in Parasalaya (where he takes the name Taru), meeting and teaming-up – temporarily – with another singer, Rohin; they head north together, before splitting, though intending to meet up again. Rohin heads to the Myrcewald, while Taru turns east to seek for the valley he has dreamt about since his childhood. While trying to enter Orestol he becomes trapped in the Enchanted Mountains, but is rescued by Alentir.

The hidden valley is more than he hoped for, though it is going through a bad time. He settles initially in the House of the Overlord, who insists on calling him Gilnir. Taru plays little part in the solving of the valley’s problems, but sits on the edge of events and witnesses the beginning of the changes that occur.

In Orestol he meets Fial, with whom he has an intermittent relationship, and from which come twins. But his wanderlust returns, and he departs before their birth.

Both his participation in the change of order, for he comes across the last Overlord of Orestol as he lies dying, his visiting the Dwarf-King below the world, and his sexual relationship with Fial, make him feel not only that he is participating more fully in the world, not merely observing, but that he is being initiated into events of heightened reality, giving him a position where he can see and understand more than the usual people. (The Migrator – briefly, where he is called Michael Raven, Time & Sorrow.)