(a.k.a. Carli Selevar)
First Appearance: Heirs of Mâvarin, Chapter One
Trivia: Del’s left eyebrow is slightly higher on his face than the right one.
Quote: “I want to meet the King who would let the country rot in the hands of traitors. If I were Carli, I’d be ashamed of him.”
impulsive and often irresponsible, 16-year-old Del Merden is Rani
Fost’s best friend. Del has a bad habit of leaving the more unpleasant
chores at Barst Stables to his twin sister of Crel. Nevertheless,
Del is loyal and courageous, and has a strong sense of right and wrong.
He is willing to leave home and family behind to help Rani, and is
appalled to learn that Mâvarin is currently ruled by an imposter
Del doesn’t know it yet, but his real name is Carli Selevar.
Del and the Tengrem
“Nno! Donn’t go!” the voice in the cavern cried out. The candle in Del’s hand flickered and went out, forcing Del to slow down and feel his way. He remembered his uncle’s words of the night before, about the amazing speed of the creature that had supposedly killed Rani, and of its haunting yellow eyes, which might or might not be able to see in the dark. Del’s only hope was to get to one of the smaller caverns further in, the one with an entrance too small for anything larger than a human being.
The tengrem (if it was a tengrem) made no move to follow him. Del heard it crying in the meeting cavern far behind him, a heartbroken, howling wail that echoed through the passages, each corridor and cavern adding a new and sadder note. Del found the cleft in the rock with his outstretched fingers, and squeezed his way into his chosen bolt-hole. The creature’s pathetic howls gradually subsided to sighing and snuffling, intermingled with almost-intelligible words. Moved by pity at the sound, and encouraged by the lack of pursuit, Del relit the candle and tiptoed back to the meeting cavern. He stood just outside it, unsure what to do next. If he was quiet enough, he might be able to sneak out of the Ot Lôven entirely. Was that the right thing to do? The creature in the cavern had not attacked Del, or even chased him. What if it wasn’t an enemy? What if it, too, wanted to help Del find Rani, or at least tell him what had happened to his friend? What if Rani was somewhere in these caverns, and needed Del to rescue him?
Perhaps hearing Del’s breathing, the creature spoke. “You therre?” The half-voiced whisper reached Del as a pleading hiss.
“Yes, I’m here.” Del stepped into view. He knew he should be running away, but until he knew more he did not have the heart to desert the owner of the almost familiar voice. Still, he had to ask the obvious question, and be prepared to run again if necessary. “Are you the tengrem, then?”
He heard a worried laugh. “Tengrrem now. Not then, not beforre—please don’t rrun. Won’t hurrt you. Please stay. It’s awful, I can’t—I need you to talk to, not to eat, I wouldn’t. Please, will you stay if I prromise not to move?”
Del’s pity struggled with his common sense. Pity won. “Okay. I’ll stay for a little while. I think I can trust you that far.”
“No!” cried the tengrem with a sudden fierceness that startled Del. “No! Don’t trrust me—I’m not always rrational. Prromise—please, Del, prromise you won’t trrust me!”
Del had almost run again at this outburst. “How do you know my name? Did Rani tell you about me?”
“I promise,” Del said, “but I don’t understand.”
The tengrem took several slow, deep breaths. It seemed to calm him. Even his luminous eyes looked a little different, with more brown flecks in the yellow. “I have very little contrrol over myself,” said the creature slowly. “I don’t want—I don’t want to hurt anyone, but then I get excited, or upset, and I can’t think or talk rright. I’m just an animal, all instinct, rready to attack. I’m scared,” the tengrem said, and he sounded it, for his voice was shaking, “and I don’t know what to do. That’s why I wanted to talk to you.”
Del tried to speak as gently and soothingly as possible. “Do you mean me personally? Was it you who signaled to me last night?”
“Yes. Ot Lôven. Tomorrrow. Today.”
“How did you know about the signal knock? Only Rani and I knew that signal.”
“That’s still trrue,” the tengrem said. “Del, I’m…I’m Rani. I was your best frriend.”
--From Heirs of Mâvarin, Chapter Two
Fayubi’s Prophecy at Odamas
Straying far from Him and Her,
How can you end up where you were?
But it is your time to roam,
Still together, far from home,
By road, and then by means unknown.
The love you give is yours to keep,
The love you left again you’ll reap,
The love you learn shall never sleep.
(not Carli Selevar)
First Appearance: Mages of Mâvarin, Chapter Eleven
Trivia: The otherworld Del’s left eyebrow is not off-kilter.
Quote: “Are you going to help me with this, or did you just come in to watch me work?”
otherworld Del Merden is Rani Lunder’s best friend, although the
relationship has cooled somewhat since's Rani's romantic pursuit of
Crel. Del is convinced that he works just as hard around the stables
as Crel, but doesn't get proper credit for doing so. This version of
Del does not have an alternate name.