Anele is a strange, Earthpowerful and apparently half-mad old man whom Linden Avery meets atop Kevin's Watch immediately following her transportation to the Land in The Third Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
Appearance and Character
Anele looks like some insane old hermit or aged prophet who's been sitting out in the sun too long. Wearing the grubbiest of loincloths (one that's certainly never seen the benefit of any laundering), he is thin to the point of emaciation and is the quintessence of the word "unkempt". His entire body is besmirched and filthy, his long beard ragged and straggly and as for his toenails... words do not suffice to describe the horrors that would be faced by any chiropodist unfortunate enough to be confronted by Anele's feet. It's immediately clear that Anele doesn't have much of a personal grooming régime.
It is hard to accurately sum up Anele's personality simply because he spends half his time largely deranged and the other half being possessed by malign entities, be that Kastenessen or even the Despiser himself. Be that as it may, what can be said is this - Anele is always simultaneously both terrified and self-castigating, for reasons will soon become apparent. He's certainly got more than a touch of paranoia, being convinced that some malignant force is out to get him, sending caesures to sweep him away and also that the Masters of the Land (aka the Haruchai) wish him ill. There's certainly no truth in the second of these beliefs, since, although the Haruchai are warily suspicious of his innate Earthpower, they have at least has spent time and effort ensuring that the old man comes to no harm. However, there's no reasoning with Anele and throughout he remains scared of even his own shadow. In fact, his never-ending querulousness and self-reprehension are so pronounced that he comes close on occasion to being as irritating as Linden. Only close though - nobody could ever take that title away from the Princess of Procrastination.
Presumably inherited from his Graveler father, Anele has a deep and abiding affinity with all things of stone, with which he seems to be able to communicate in some weirdly arcane fashion. He is also warded by stone in some way, since when his feet are standing upon it, he is then immune to possession. On the other hand, stand Anele on mud, sand, earth or any other type of ground and he is liable to pretty much instantly become a glove puppet for some evil spirit. For all that, Anele does have huge innate reserves of Earthpower that he's sadly always too timid to tap into. This may be the only discernible reason why he insists upon referring to himself as "the last hope of the Land",
After a fair few hundred pages, it turns out that Anele is the son of Sunder and Hollian from the Second Chronicles. Okay, Anele may well be crustily old, but this begs the immediate question as to how he has managed to live for several millennia - it can hardly have been a matter of a sensible diet, healthy lifestyle and plenty of exercise. It transpires that Anele, who was entrusted with the second Staff of Law by his parents, accidentally blundered into a caesure thousands of years before and was thus transported through time into the present day of the Third Chronicles, resulting in his losing the magical walking aid. His horror and self-reproach at his carelessness in so doing are certainly at least partial causes of his bat-shit crazy madness.
Role in the Third Chronicles
Having bumped into Linden very near the beginning of The Runes Of The Earth, Anele is then taken on by her and her growing band of helpers either as a charity case or as a bizarre kind of mascot - there can be no other reason, since otherwise he's a real millstone around the party's necks; keeping him safe makes him a massive liability in any of the bazillion combats that the Good Guys™ have to face (as Galt finds out to his cost]]) and talking with him in an attempt to find out the slightest scrap of pertinent information is invariably about as useful as trying to hold a conversation with a brain-damaged gibbon. Plus of course, there's always the chance that at the worst possible moment, Anele will accidentally wander away from the safety of stone and end up being instantly taken over by an entity that is certainly not on Linden and chums' Christmas card list.
This is in fact exactly what happens in Against All Things Ending, when in the middle of being assailed by multiple caesures sent by mad Joan, the party understandably takes its collective eyes off Anele. In a trice, the mad old fool has stumbled onto sand and then is instantly possessed by Kastenessen the enraged Elohim. Thus next second he rushes at Liand and proceeds to blow the poor, dumb ox-like Stonedownor's head apart - a thing which puts a serious crimp in Pahni's love life.
Fortunately for the Good Guys™, a mere chapter or so later, in his last act before kicking the bucket, Anele redeems himself during a fleetingly rare moment of sanity (and an even rarer one of courage) by transfusing his entire Earthpower into the still slack-jawed and unresponsive (and quite possibly shroom-stoned) Jeremiah, after which the old man keels over dead - which must be an unspoken yet sizeable relief to all concerned. This transference of Earthpower doesn't actually rouse everyone's favourite teenage Rainman from his drooling blankness, but it does have the effect of giving the croyel that has been riding on Jerry's back a case of fatal and messily explosive indigestion.