Disclaimer: Nothing of Earthsea belongs to me. I would gladly adopt a stray otak, though. Its bite cannot be worse than this of my cats.

The Song of the Silent

In a land of many wonders, where ancient trees dream of the world's making and the young grass sways to the whispers of the sea breeze, to songs and tales from distant shores, long lasts the night of Sunreturn. Yet the long dark fills with merriment and dance, and songs of kings and heroes. When the candles have burned down, when the people lie in deep, leaden sleep and silence fills the halls, another feast commences.

On a hill old beyond any mortal recollection, covered in long grass, something stirs. A small, broad face emerges among the grass spears, its bright eyes darting sideways, up, down, sniffing the air, twitching its ears. Sensing no foe, it leaps through the grass and runs uphill, and many of its kin follow: young, old, brown, brindled, they all gather on the brow of the hill.

A strange gathering that none has ever witnessed, save for the owls that watch from afar, hooting their annoyance to those who steal and scare away their prey. The otaks run and play, the younger chasing tails, leaping and hiding in the grass, the older licking their fur and curling upon the moist earth in solemn meditation, their eyes half-closed, contemplating mysteries unknown to the human mind. All games cease as the dawn draws near.

In the twilight, all furred heads turn to the north, to watch a single star dawn over the horizon. It shines yellow, small and insignificant, its name long forgotten, but any sailor knows it to dawn above Osskil for a few nights around Sunreturn. As if in a trance, the otaks stare at the yellow star, their eyes reflecting its light thousandfold. Old and young watch its ascension in silence, their small heads tilting sideways, as if swaying to the night breeze.

Then a murmur ascends from the grass, a humming as faint as the memory of a dream. The silent chant a eulogy, a blessing – a Name: "Hoeg, Hoeg," they whisper, and their eyes shine brighter. "Hoeg, Hoeg," they chant, and the hill fills with the song of the silent, soft, steady, rhythmical – like a heartbeat. "Hoeg, Hoeg," they sing, mothers to their litters, young ones to their mates, old ones to their heart, so the Name will not be forgotten in the years to come, nor will the memory fade until the world's breaking.

Then the suns colors the eastern sea golden and the otaks scatter among the grass, returning to their nests and their lives, hunting field mice and lizards, mating and raising their litters, in a manner unchanged since the world's making. And the owls chatter with the sea-hawks, gossiping about the latest events and the otaks' foolishness. The hawks fly over lands and waters, and they speak of the strange gathering to the gulls and the swallows. "Hoeg, Hoeg", they cry, and speak of the star that shines over Osskil during Sunreturn, and of the song of the silent: the Deed of Hoeg, the tale of the one who traveled far and died under different stars.

And the land remembers.

Author's notes: It is my understanding that otaks can speak, but choose to remain silent, since we know that Ged's otak screamed when the shadow first attacked him.