A/N: Wow, this is my first non TP fic in a long time. I read the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy recently, and I loved it, and wondered why there was no fics on it. This fic was written almost entirely at school in my bludge lessons.
The story is set from the POV of Darrow's mother, Sareela.
Disclaimer: I owned Tremaris, I wouldn't be posting this here. But Sareela is mine, as is Kaeryn.
Remembrance - A Chanters of Tremaris Fic.
Sareela looked at her six-year-old daughter, Kaeryn, with mixture of happiness and pain visible on her face.
She looked so much like her brother had at that age, the same piercing green-grey eyes, the same hawk-like shape to her nose- Sareela tried to cut off her train of thought there. No, she wouldn't dwell on what she couldn't change. She would focus on the present, not the past.
But despite what she was telling herself, she found her memory taking her back, back to when she still had Numor, her little Mouse…
It was a younger looking Sareela who leaned into the wind the carried the Gold Arrow away from the shores of Kalysons. She inhaled the fresh sea air deeply, after the dank smell of the air in the port of Burley it was a welcome change.
It was her husband's shout that startled Sareela out of her thoughts.
"Numor, no. Leave it for the others, you get down here now!" Jollan was yelling over the wind to the small figure in the rigging.
Sareela looked at the figure with alarm, watching as her seven-year-old son perched precariously in the ropes above the ship. Seeing the worry in the faces of both parents, the little boy, nicknamed 'Mouse' by the crew, climbed down reluctantly with a scowl on his small face.
Briskly, Sareela bundled him into the cabin, telling him to prepare for dinner. Like any child, the thought of food spurred him into action. Numor, or Mouse, was a striking looking child, with an unruly mop of straw-coloured hair, and green-grey eyes that always held ten or more unanswered questions at any one time.
During dinner, Sareela noticed that Mouse was staring unashamedly at the old sailor Arram. She frowned and muttered to him not to stare at people. But still he kept looking, and she could see the fascination in his eyes.
For some reason, she felt uneasy. Among the crew, there were whispers that Arram was a chanter. Was the reason for Mouse's keen interest? She certainly hoped not, chanters were feared throughout the lands of Tremaris. They could whistle up winds, move things without touching them, create illusions, control beasts, and even command fire and ice.
A minor brawl then broke out, which also broke into Sareela's thoughts and she quickly forgot it. For the time being at least.
Turns of the moons came and went, Jollan traded most of their cargo in Eo, then continued to sail towards Geel, wanting to fill the cargo hold with the spices and metals found in the Merithuran Empire.
Mouse's fascination with the sailor Arram continued to niggle in the back of Sareela's mind. She had caught him trailing the wizened sailor around the ship a few times, and late at night she could sometimes hear Mouse humming strange tunes to himself.
All these things were gradually building up in her mind. Could it be possible that Numor was a chanter? Sareela wished and prayed that it was not so, but it would make sense of so many things. After all, if Arram was a chanter… Well, they say that one chanter knows another, don't they?
With a growing sense of dread, she let these thoughts seep through her mind. Of course, she couldn't be certain of what was going on. Well, not until they reached Geel that is.
The air was heavy with noise and the smell of spices as they pulled into the harbour of Geel, which only got worse as they started to unload their cargo.
Sareela noticed that Arram stuck to his hammock, saying he had a jaw ache. She wasn't sure if he was being truthful. Then she saw him give Mouse what was clearly a warning of something, she could tell by the look that was on the sailor's face.
Her heart threatened to leap into her mouth, why did Arram feel that mouse needed an extra warning, and a warning about what? She asked herself as Mouse scrambled into the rigging.
But what Sareela saw a few moments later was enough for her heart to try and jump right out of her. The crew was unloading hay bales using the crane on the dock, while her Jollan was supervising the off-loading of smaller goods. He couldn't see the hay bale above his head slipping from the restraints.
Sareela felt her face go white as she and the entire crew yelled various warnings to him, but he couldn't hear them above the din. The bale kept slipping, slipping free of the straps which hadn't been properly fastened. She thought that time must be torturing her by slowing down.
But then the slipping stopped; it was just hovering in the air, impossibly suspended. All around the harbour, silence fell like a blanket over the place. It was as that eerie quiet descended that it could be heard, a deep growling song, coming from above their heads. Her face growing grey as husband's was as he stepped back shakily, Sareela looked up with a growing sense of dread.
There was Mouse leaning across the rigging and singing loudly. As soon as Jollan was a safe distance away, he let his song falter. In response, the bale plummeted to the ground, the same ground where Jollan had been standing a few moments ago.
Sareela felt her knees go weak as she heard the simultaneous rustle of cloth, the people on the dock were making the sign to banish evil. A man was coming aboard the ship, dressed entirely in floating black robes. Jollan frowned and started forward to stop him, but the man ignored him. His eyes were locked on to the small boy who had climb down from the rigging. Mouse was backing away a fast as he could, and he only had the bowsprit left to hide on. Sareela felt so utterly helpless as the man used chantments to capture Mouse as the bowsprit crumpled.
Both Jollan and herself had been frozen to their spots as this intruder let himself onto the ship. But now he had their only child, and it was obvious he wasn't going to let go. Together, they lunged at him. Jollan attempting to punch the man, while Sareela went for his legs in the hope of tripping him. Sareela felt both fear and fury grip her as she scratched at him, trying to distract him into letting Mouse go.
But neither worked, and it became clear that he was using chantment to stop them.
They chased after the chanter as he began to disappear into the throng of the crowd. On and on they ran, trying to keep their son's flailing figure in sight. The people around them seemed to draw away from the desperate parents, as if they had some kind of disease. But the chase that Jollan and Sareela had made was in vain, for both the man and boy had vanished.
Sareela gasped with grief for her son as slumped against her husband. The last thing she remembered as the darkness closed in was Jollan catching her as she fell.
It was many hours and many miles away from Geel that Sareela roused herself. For a few blissful moments Sareela she had forgotten what had happened in Geel. But when mind finally caught up with her, she fell back to her hammock with a sob. She had been robbed of her son.
Days past before she saw fit to venture outside her cabin into the mocking sunlight. Jollan would come and go, conveying some of the finer points of what was going on, and sharing the grief both of them felt. In the first such visit after Sareela had woken, he had related the nature of what Arram had told him.
Jollan had said that they had left Geel relatively quickly, as the attitude was not in the least welcoming. And not long after setting sail, Arram had nervously approached him.
"He is a chanter, Arram that is," Jollan had said despondantly. "He reconks that he knows where they would have taken Numor."
Sareela had looked at him sharply, "Then why aren't we going to get him?"
Jollan's shoulders had slumped even futher. "Because Arram said that the place, known as the Black Palace, is in the middle of the desert. No one from the outside is let in and it is near impossible to escape."
"But he must of escaped from this place though, how else would he know so much about it." Said Sareela, scrabbling for a scrap of hope.
A sigh escaped Jollan's lips. "Yes, Arram admitted that he hadescaped, but according to him, it was pure luck." Jollan paused. "Mouse may know all there is to know about life on the sea, but alone, in the deserts..." he trailed off awkwardly into silence.
The tears were flowing steadily down Sareela's cheeks by now. "So, you're saying that we have to just give up on him?" she managed to choke out between sobs.
Her husband didn't answer her, only wrapped his arms around her as they grieved for their lost son.
Slowly the painful images of the past faded. Sareela wondered how long she had spent reminicing. Judging by the way Kaeryn was looking at her with a quizzical expressionon her face, it had been some time.
"Mamma, what's wrong?"
"Nothing sweeties, just some... old memories."
Satisfied with her mother's answer, Kaeryn scampered off once more. Sareela let her eyes linger on her daughter a while longer before staring once more at the seemingly endless ocean.
Mouse would be 14 years old now, she reminded herself. Her head was suddenly full of queries about her son. Where was he? Did he even remember the family that had loved him so? Was he safe, or happy?
She tried to push them back, she knew that she would never find out the answers any time soon. All she could do was hope and pray that he was safe and happy, and that one day, he might find his way back home.