Mahrtiir of the Ramen is a warder of My Little Starry-Browed Ponies majestic Ranyhyn. He is quite senior amongst the horsey folk, having achieved the high status of Manethrall, meaning that he's an expert tracker, a merciless hunter of kresh with his garotte and supremely skilled with a shovel and bucket.
Mahrtiir, along with Bhapa and Pahni, his Ramen apprentices - or Cords as they are more properly known - are busily doing what they love most, namely grooming, feeding and shoveling up behind the Ranyhyn when they have the great misfortune of encountering Linden Avery. This staggering piece of bad luck is shockingly compounded when Mahrtiir decides that he and his two stablehands should accompany the Lady of Lacrimousness. Of course, this isn't going to end well for them...
Needless to say, in one of SRD's many set piece battles, Mahrtiir gets hit in the head from the side by a thrown Cavewight spear that neatly skewers out both his eyeballs and leaves him as blind as a brick. This would of course put a crimp in anyne's day and so it is with Mahrtiir - although prevented from dying by Linden (actually doing something useful, for a dramatic change), Mahrtiir quickly becomes frustrated by his disability.
He should have known that things weren't exactly going to turn out well for him. After all, the pronunciation of his name corresponds to “martyr”, and lo and behold, in an SRD universe names always presage something. Ware, parents of the Land, never christen your child Destiny Reaper Omen Ravenheart...
Appearance and Character
Mahrtiir, as with all Ramen, has tanned skin and wears his long dark hair in a pony-tail (of course it's in a pony-tail... think about it). Such hippy-esque coiffure is held secured by a band of leather that can be snatched off as quick as lightning and used as a handy garotte - the Ramen's choice of fighting weapon. He is typically clad in a neutral-coloured tunic of natural hues that enhances his innate racial skill at camouflage. Well, that's before he was blinded (see below)... more recently he's about as good at being stealthy as an epileptic rhinoceros on methamphetamine in a china shop.
There's definitely something of the native American indian about Mahrtiir and indeed all of the Ramen - think Tonto (and no, absolutely not the recent ultra-dumb Johnny Depp "why is there a dead bird on my head?" version), except without the wigwam, bow and arrows and horseriding.
Mahrtiir is at first sight a stern-looking individual, proud, quick to judge and deeply suspicious about anyone who'd have the effrontery to consider riding any of the great horses for which he is sworn to care. However, for some completely unintelligible reason, he is swayed to help Linden - he'd probably been chewing too much amanibhavam that day, or something.
His voice has been described as "grating", which means that Linden had to get used to being followed by the sentient equivalent of a rusty hinge.
Role in The Last Dark
Unless readers have purchased the snoring-boring European edition with a muck-brown dustjacket soiled with MS Word clipart-ish rain and lightning, they will be treated to a massive spoiler on the front cover of the book itself. Oh look, that’s Mahrtiir right there, with a Forestal’s robe and staff, merging with a tree...
During the first half of the setup, Mahrtiir travels back in time with Linden and some horseys via a caesure to seek Caer-Caveral’s aid. You see, Linden's finally decided to try to do something useful and is craving for knowledge on how to Forbid one gluttonous Worm from gobbling up all those twinkly twinkly little stars. Instead, the Ranyhyn decide to troll the duo a tad and bring them to grumpy ol’ Caerroil Wildwood. He reveals that a regular pitiful human cannot master Forbiddings; it’s a power innate to Forestals only. Of course, long-term readers already know that Caerroil Wildwood has a penchant for creating new Forestals out of blind guys, as he did with Hile Troy, so it's no surprise when Mahrtiir determines to fling his uselessness aside and, entirely living up to his name (gee, whoda thunk?), promptly sacrifices his former life in order to become the latest tree-hugger for the distant worm-gnawed future.
His fanciful new gear includes a samite bathrobe that never requires washing, a collection of songs, and a plant-it-yourself tree sapling. Plus, as we know it's bound to, his name gets changed to Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir. Enough with the urs, already.
- http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/A1bcGYc7HAL._AA1500_.jpg (Official American cover of The Last Dark)