- Julian M Armstrong
Chronicles of Tala: The Main Characters – 2. Carant Lanthris
Carant is a druid and the long-term companion and close friend of Glorhelm. As explained in Book 2, The Elephant of Mardis, he was adopted by druids as an orphan and to his own astonishment was later proclaimed to be a prophet amongst them. As the books progress, especially in Book 4, The Jacinta and Book 6, The Elentar (out September 2020), his destiny is gradually revealed, although he himself still understands little of it, not just why he has been chosen, but also what he has been chosen for.
A personable character, Carant is quick to humour and fiercely loyal to those he considers friends. However, he is also equally quick to anger and if he takes a dislike to someone, it is nigh on impossible for him to change his mind. His scathing opinions of Baranil, the cleric for example, lead him to dismiss any of his undoubted worth as a member of the party. He is also overly fond of the odd ale and it is perhaps just as well that their journey takes them far from the cosy inns to the north of Tala.
As a druid, Carant’s powers are granted to him by the natural world. In a deep, forbidding forest, he is potentially more powerful than any of the party, but in an underground system of tunnels and caves, he is much less useful. His healing powers often save lives, but are more akin to using his power to enhance what are natural remedies, rather than the gift of any greater authority. He is charged with protecting the natural order; if he was to deviate from his path, his strength would diminish accordingly. All his strength and power come from nature and especially the trees of the forest, or as his abilities increase during the series of books, even a small copse can amplify them many times over.
The fact that the spirit of nature, is as real a presence as any of the party, can seem strange to his companions. When he first encounters the jungle in Book 2, The Elephant of Mardis, he is confused and initially bereft when he cannot feel what there is beneath this tumult of life and profusion of activity. The forests there, dance to a different tune and for one so accustomed to the wilds of Tala, it takes him time to accustom himself to it.
During the books Carant changes gradually as a person. Whereas at first he is quick to joke or make light of situations, the seriousness and importance of their quest gradually weighs on him. What is revealed to him by the forest spirits in Book 6, The Elentar, also shocks him and leaves him torn between what is his destiny and his desire to maintain and protect the forests of Tala.
As for his longing for more than simple companionship with Rozeka, that’s another story…