Mage of Doors and Music

Art by Sherlock

First Appearance: Heirs of Mâvarin, Chapter Six

Trivia: Before meeting Pol Ramet, Rutana was a Master at the College of Magic on Mâton. She left for political reasons.

Quote: “You would think we magicians would need good memories to work our spells, but I’m afraid that many of us let our books and talismans remember things for us instead.  Well.  I, at least, shall try to remember your proper name from now on.”

Rutana (born Runa Strath) has just two major talents, but is extraordinarily proficient in their use. As a music mage, she can play any instrument and, in so doing, manipulate the emotions of her audience or reveal hidden spells. As a portal mage, she can enchant any door so that it connects with a distant location.

A resident of Thâlemar, Mâvarin’s capital city, Rutana is the ex-wife of  Pol Ramet, retired Captain of the Thâlemar Guard, and the mother of Li Ramet and the young transformation mage Barselti. Rutana is in her early sixties, and in somewhat fragile health.

The Otherworld Rutana is a Mâ-Na-Mâ operative. For health reasons, however, she delegates most portal magic to her son and protege, Liru.

The Back Yard Beach

The house Li stopped at was no larger than the Ramet home, possibly a little smaller.  It was made of large blocks of pinkish clay, smoothed over with more clay.  Crel wondered whether the Palace and city wall had been made using the same technique.

Li went to the wooden door and knocked.  “Come in, Li,” someone called.  “We’re out back.”  Li grinned and pushed the door open.

“She almost always does that,” he said.  “I think she has a viewing charm on the front door.”  He led Crel through the house—the main room was decorated with a lot of musical instruments plus one small tapestry of a blond-haired minstrel—and out a second door in the back.

Crel stared.

The ocean lay before them.

Crel closed her eyes.  When she opened them, the ocean was still there.  On the beach in front of her, two women sat in low wooden chairs. Just above them, flying low in a blue sky ribboned with high white clouds, sea birds wheeled and cried, occasionally diving to pick food from the sand or the sea.
The chairs faced south, but the people in them turned their heads as Crel and Li approached.  The older one—Li’s mother, presumably—wore a crocheted white cloak over what could only be swimming clothes.  The second, a girl about Crel’s age, wore a robe of light blue flannel embroidered with gold.
Crel looked back through the door through which they had come. It shimmered in the sunshine, barely visible.  There was no sign of the house or the city. 

The girl in the chair laughed.  “Amazing, isn’t it?” she said.  “Hello, Li.  Who is your friend?”

“Hello, Your Highness.  Princess, Mother, this is Crel Merden.  She’s staying with us for a while.  Crel, this is the Princess Cathma, and this is my mother, the mage Rutana.”

Crel was still overwhelmed by the unexpected ocean.  “Good day, Your Highness, and my Lady.” she said.  “Is this real?”

The girl in the chair laughed again, but not in a mean way.  Rutana winked at Crel, and then laughed herself.  “It’s real enough.  We are a few miles south of Eplimar.”

“But that’s weeks away from Thâlemar!”

“So it is.  I’m needed in Thâlemar, but I’ve always wanted a home on the beach, so I arranged to have both.  Li, please show your guest where the beach clothes are.”

--from Heirs of Mâvarin, Chapter Six

A Letter from Rutana

Dear Barselti--

One of these days I really ought to reestablish the portal between here and Gathmak so that I came come down and see you, but you know how I hate to travel, and I doubt that Lord Albi would welcome my visit.  For now, you're just going to have to settle for one of your mother's nagging letters instead.

I've been surprisingly busy up here the last several days, ever since Fayubi's projection turned up, demanding a portal between my beach and a stretch of ocean halfway between Sûtelmar and Eplimar.  The poor man was on a ship that was about to sink in a mage-induced storm.  We managed to save everyone on board the Seeker, but the ship itself sank.  I don't think we've ever found out who sent the storm.  Or, at least, I haven't.  I haven't heard from Fayubi since the day of the rescue.

There was a second ship on that stretch of ocean, a little one man boat that managed to tack through the portal before I deactivated it. I'm sure you'll be as astonished as I was to learn that the little boat came all the way from Londer.  Can you imagine?  Fayubi told me, before he left, that the man who sailed it was the Prince of Londer.  He was unconscious by the time the sailors from the Seeker put him in the back bedroom, but Li found out the next day that Fayubi was right.  He is Prince Talber Edmon Jon Verjul.  He's about your age, and seems like a very nice young man.  He didn't speak a word of Mâvarinû when he got here, but he is working very hard to learn.  Li and I are helping him.

Now, I have a very serious question to ask you, Bari.  Have you ever seen any indication that Li has magical talents? If so,why didn't you tell me?  Li admitted to me today that he's been using a talent for languages on the Line for over a year without realizing it.  It worries me, because of what happened with Imuselti last year.  Li seems to have survived the experience without the usual consequence, but I'm still concerned that he's had magic all this time without my knowing about it.  He hasn't had any instruction, or even the most basic warnings before this morning.  I will do my best to rectify the situation, but it's going to be difficult.  He's still worried about what your father will think.

How have you been doing down there?  I haven't heard from you since winter.  I hope you are being careful with your studies and experiments, and even more so with the tengremen, especially Albi.  I know that you can take care of yourself, but I worry that the situation will get too dangerous if there's a real power struggle, especially if Albi finds out what you've been doing behind his back.  Yes, I did hear about that. I think it's a very brave and noble thing you're doing, but please, mind your mother and watch your back!

Please write to me when you receive this, so that I know you're still alive.



Next Character Profile

A tribute to the woman who inspired the creation of Rutana

Introduction and Sample Scene from Heirs of Mâvarin

Introduction and Sample Scene from Mages of Mâvarin

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