Excerpts from the Reader's Companion to the Year of the Red Door

Familiars are the mysterious creatures that are companions to members of the Melnari race. They have unusual abilities, including the ability to communicate directly with others without the need of speech, although they prefer to communicate only with their particular Melnari companion.

Legend has it that all Familiars come from a single place called, appropriately enough, the Familiar Wood. It is said that when Aperion called away the Faerekind, those spirits that had not fully formed into Faerekind were trapped upon the earth, taking refuge in plant or animal forms. How they came to be with their Melnari companions is not known, but of the six known Melnari, each had a Familiar.

The known Familiars are:

  • Beauchamp, a woodland rabbit, Familiar to Raynor the Wise.
  • Certina, a small owl, Familiar to Collandoth the Wanderer.
  • Fallendine, a vulture, Familiar to Tolimay the Angry.
  • Hanion, a preying mantis, Familiar to Micharam the Poet.
  • Telliniece, a chipmunk, Familiar to Barian the Counter.
  • Wink, a firefly, Familiar to Ishtorgus the Mariner.

All Melnari but Collandoth and Raynor have died, and it is not known for certain what became of the deceased Melnari's Familiars. It is thought that Fallendine the Vulture wanders far and wide across the earth, and that he has some greater knowledge of the purpose of the Melnari than do others of his kind. To this end, it is said, he sometimes agrees to fly on behalf of persons who, by his inscrutable judgment, may contribute to his own fate. Micerea of the Dragonlands was known to have a vulture as a pet for a time, much to the consternation of the people of Almedian, her village. And a vulture was often seen coming and going from the Temple of Beras in Duinnor. As for the other Familiars, nothing is known about happened to them, whether they survived the deaths of their companions, whether they returned to the Familiar Wood, or if they continue to work toward the aims of their former companions.

Courtesy of The Reader's Companion to the Year of the Red Door
© 2016 by William Timothy Murray

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