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The Thousand Winters
The Forges of Dawn
Tarute is a sub protagonist in "The Forges of Dawn" and its sequel. Despite being a major character, he has almost no speaking lines throughout the majority of the first book.
Tarute has a thinner build than most males, but he is still well-muscled and of average size. His pelt is a tawny brown with lighter undersides, and his curly mane is of copper hues. The irises of his eyes are a minty green.
He shuns traditional Afriikan body armor, preferring to wear only the simplest of light reed armor along the fronts of his legs, out of vanity. He also sports a shell necklace, which loops several times around his neck.
Tarute is an expressive Lyon, playful and coy, especially where Uhuru is involved. He is slightly vain, but no harm comes of it, and his needling and nipping at the red lyonesse is all a cover for deeper, truer emotions. Tarute is a loyal friend to Uhuru, supportive and daring, and her "rock" throughout most of the book.
Tarute challenges Uhuru to a race at the beginning of the story, with the promise she'd consider him as a mate if he won. He continues to badger her and preen throughout the majority of the book, until Jesiza and a trio of hounds captures and kills some of the pride. Tarute gets toted off to the Black Mountains, where Vireka transforms him into a hound. He is later found by Uhuru, reverted back from his mad state by the sound of her voice and freed from his prison made of talismans. The duo savage the guards and escape the stronghold, jumping into The Tempest at the edge of Afriik.
Along with Uhuru, he ends up aboard a ship of Utans, led by a female called Wulan, who intends to sell them based thanks to their foreign value. However, before she can, prince Lochan of the Endian Empire shows up and takes them both as his higher rank allows. Tarute is unconscious the whole time, and does not wake up until Uhuru forces him back into knowing with her magic. As soon as he comes to, he dislikes Lochan, feeling a deep jealously for the other male and the fact that Uhuru has taken such a liking to him. When he and Uhuru are thrown in prison, he briefly reverts back to a feral state when one of the prison guards begins to abuse Uhuru, and breaks his bars as well as the bars of a Tigrisian called Yu Song. He kills the guards and very nearly kills Uhuru, paving the way for the Lyon and Tigris to gather up Lochan and make an escape.
Tarute keeps Uhuru and Lochan safe from Yu Song's crew, his large size and monstrous appearance dissuading any plans they have for his friend for a time. He assists in prying his small group, which now consists of himself, Modak, and Ming Huo, away from the clutches of Yu Song. When Tai Yang kills Lochan whilst meaning to kill Uhuru, he leaps over and rends her to peaches. He then escorts the group and the dead Lochan to Nikrti's ship, as it begins to take off.
Tarute is Uhuru's rock when she finally breaks down after enduring all the stress her quest to free her friends has put on her. The quartet don armor and trek through The Waste, where they find Tsatsi's skull and have a close, near fatal encounter with the Nirnasha, son of the Black lyon Mobor. Tarute acts as Uhuru's mount, as they finally head for the black mountains, and before they rush into battle, expresses the romantic feeling he's always had for her the best he can. They are returned, and with that confirmed, he steels himself and the army marches to the Black Mountains.
As they are pursuing Lord Vireka, Tarute is forced to fight with his own Houndified mother, but doesn't kill her under Uru's orders. When Vireka throws the ColdFyre at her, Tarute sacrifices himself and dies, however Uru's HeartFyre magic is able to bring him back.
In Thousand Winters
Tarute is slated to appear in The Thousand Winters.