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"I'm in two minds about what to do next..."

Esmer (lit. "He is sea" from the Esperanto) is a massively conflicted supernatural being who appears throughout The Third Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. He is the son of Cail of the haruchai and the merewives, a paradoxical heritage that may well explain why this guy is madder than a bag full of mice.

Appearance and Character[]

Esmer is a fair-haired and initially handsome young man with eyes the colour of a troubled sea. When we first meet him, he's well-groomed and smartly dressed, but as time goes by, he becomes more and more like a tramp that's been involved in a cage-fighting marathon... he clearly needs to find himself a good doctor, barber, shower and launderette in any order he likes. Although he often makes himself irritatingly invisible, Esmer is otherwise easily recognized by his obsession with always wearing odd socks and an accompanying faint smell of fish. He is usually in the company of a small band of ur-viles and waynhim. Do not be mistaken into thinking these creatures are in any way his buddies - they're more like his minders.

Esmer is the very definition of schizophrenic and therefore is in two minds about literally everything. In comparison, even Linden Avery the Imperatrix of Inaction (to give her one of her many titles), looks like the most decisive person on the planet. Esmer doesn't have so much of a split personality as one that's been guillotined down the middle, with each half having been instantly couriered to entirely opposite ends of the universe. So marked is the duality of Esmer's personalities that, if he ever held a knife to his own throat and threatened to commit suicide, it'd have to be viewed as a hostage situation.

Esmer's swivel-eyed mania takes the form of instantly having to counterbalance any action he takes with its exact opposite. So, whenever he does something to help Linden or Covenant, he immediately has to do something else to really screw them up. Similarly, whenever he drinks a Coke, he immediately has to chug back a Pepsi. Or whenever he eats a Big Mac, he immediately has to wolf down a Double Whopper with cheese. It must be very tiring for him.


Esmer is the progeny of an undersea orgy between Cail of the haruchai and the merewives, who were encountered in the Second Chronicles during the voyage to the the Isle of the One Tree. At that time, the merewives, malign marine creatures similar to the sirens of Greek myth, kept popping their heads above the waves to whisper salty erotic promises to Cail onboardStarfare's Gem - rather like an bubbly underwater version of a sex chat line. In Cail's defence it should be remembered that he as a haruchai had sworn to forsake all women, so hadn't ever got jiggy with anyone. Ever. Not once. Thus Cail had to be forcibly rescued after having thrown himself overboard in an attempt to star in his own underwater porn film... kind of like Jacques Cousteau meets Debbie Does Dallas, perhaps.

Even though Cail's initial efforts to indulge in aquasex were thwarted, we are told that, following the events in White Gold Wielder, he bought himself a snorkel, a pair of flippers and a crate of Viagra and headed seawards to finally indulge the obsession instilled within him. It is unclear whether he survived the briny encounter - a tad unlikely, since merewives are nasty-tempered b*tches - but he must have been at least in part successful, since Esmer is the result of that submarine union.

So, although his father was a very decent sort, Esmer's apparently got multiple deranged mothers in the merewives - a thing which cannot have made for an easy childhood. Worse yet, Esmer's maternal grandfather is Kastenessen the equally insane Elohim/Skurj hybrid. No wonder the poor kid's got issues, then.


Esmer's powers are vast and only restricted by his insane need to balance things up. For example, he can conjure up caesures, either to aid or harm Linden and friends. He can teleport himself to anywhere he likes and he can also travel through time to any instant. You'd have thought therefore that he could have easily found himself a pretty good psychiatrist, but no, apparently not. Esmer also has a natural ability in that his very presence quenches Linden's access to the power within the Staff of Law - a thing she actually appreciates, since it gives her yet another excuse to do what she's best at... namely, precisely nothing.

Esmer cannot be reasoned with - because he's so barking mad, mainly - but he does have one sole vulnerability, and that lies within his well-hidden perverse proclivity for bondage. Show him a pair of handcuffs and he instantly calms down. Go further and slap a pair of manacles around his wrists and he immediately becomes the most submissive and compliant slave that any dominatrix could ever wish for. Not that Linden of all people could ever be mistaken for a dominatrix. God, no.