"I am a gardener, Pomona, not some sort of hero! I want my life to go back to normal. I don't want to think about the fate of the kingdom or who rules what. As longasI havea joband I'm not starving in the middle of the forest, I'm happy!"
--Silvanus Orientalis to Pomona in Shadowskin
Silvanus Orientalis Larum is a character in Shadowskin. He is the son of Silvanus Agrestis Larum, the royal stable master, and Silvana Concordia Lara. He is the best friend of Leviana-Silvana Pomona Decus and her fellow gardener in the royal gardens of Norarchland.
Orientalis, known as Tal, is fairly standard in appearance for Norarchlanders. He is about 5 ft. 9 in. tall (on the tall side), with a lean build. He has dusty blond hair that he often lets grow too long, and he also experiments with going unshaven with mixed results. His eyes are green and his cheeks a scattered with freckles. Her has a square chin and a high forehead. He looks flimsy but because of his occupation he is actually very muscular.
Tal is fun-loving and jovial, which often balances out Pomona's more reserved personality. He is the only one who has been able to bring out her carefree side. He is slightly older than Pomona, but he is willing to let her be the boss. He does take advantage of his position as her friend and will frequently tease or annoy her just because he can. He is not completely irresponsible; he does take his job seriously, and he will fiercely protect Pomona no matter what risk might come to himself. He knows that she would do the same for him. He is difficult to shake or ruffle because he takes everything so easily. The only person who can succeed in making him nervous is his father, only because of the respect Tal has for him. His childhood nickname was Twig and the only way anyone could ever upset him is by calling him Orientalis. He goes by Tal exclusively. According to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, he would be ESFP.
Tal was born in the servant's quarters of the royal palace outside of Artorius, Norarchland to Silvanus Agrestis Larum and Silvana Concordia Lara. He met Pomona when they were toddlers and they became instant friends. His mother died when he was born, but Pomona's grandmother became like a surrogate mother to him. Pomona and Tal grew to be best friends, knowing better than anyone else the needs and limits of the other. When Tal was eight, he began training as the garden's gatekeeper in addition to his work in the garden. At the age of twenty-one he plans to take on the role of gatekeeper full time.
Tal is first seen in Shadowskin helping Pomona put out the fire on Princess Nevea's Aetas Tree. He and his father Agrestis help Pomona when she suffers a breathing fit. Tal expresses concern for Pomona later, but she tells him to let it go. He helps arrange the Dolor for Princess Nevea's Aetas Tree. Despite his father's supervision, Tal is nervous when Pomona goes to help train the new horse Arion. He panics when the horse runs off with her, but Pomona assures him that it won't happen again. Tal is the first person Pomona tells when she discovers the Speculum Presentis and the truth about her identity. Unfortunately, he is left behind when Pomona must run away to save the princess. In Pomona's absence, he becomes depressed and feels a bit helpless without her. He is overjoyed when she reappears in disguise some months later. He covers for her after she accidentally uses her curse on the queen and must hurry off. This time, however, Tal insists on going with her. Pomona is reluctant at first, but Tal stubbornly refuses to take no for an answer.
In the forest, he is alarmed when he sees Arion in human form at night. He attacks Arion, thinking he is an intruder. Pomona separates them and sets things in order, but Tal still dislikes Arion. He also meets Capia Callisto Arquitena and Delia, and both make him feel very unsettled by what he has joined on to. He is slightly comforted when he learns that they both worship the High King of Archland like he and his father do, but when he witnesses an attempt on Princess Nevea's life, he is convinced that he is in the wrong place. He is satisfied to tell Prince Hadrian the circumstances and then to go home. He and Pomona fight over his decision to give up and go home.
Just after he leaves Clymene, Tal sees that the town is burning. He runs back to make sure that Selene has escaped. He also salvages the Speculum Presentis. Uncertain of where else to go, he continues on home. Once there, he is confronted by Queen Demetra , who demands to know where Pomona is. Tal has no choice but to lead her south. On their way, they are intercepted by an invitation to the wedding of Princess Nevea to Prince Hadrian in Alcmena . When they arrive, Tal realizes it is a trap, and Queen Demetra is taken into custody. He hides out for a couple of days until he is contacted by a servant girl, Rena, who is actually Princess Nevea in a cursed body. She tells Tal where Pomona is being held and they set out to rescue her. By the time they have arrived, Pomona has already escaped. Nevea tells Pomona that the queen is being executed and Pomona runs off to save her. Nevea and Tal prepare Pomona's escape route. Tal and Arion are ready to leave with Pomona, but Nevea stays behind.
Tal, Arion, and Pomona head north to go to Gothel, Vallonia, where they hope Selene will be. It is a long journey and winter falls as they hit the mountains. They become stranded until Arion recognizes their location and leads them to an enchanted palace, where they spend the night at the behest of a mysterious host. The next day as they prepare to leave, Tal removes an unusual fruit from a nearby tree, prompting the rage of the host, who is an enormous talking bear. He threatens to kill Tal until Pomona steps in and offers herself in his place. Tal says a hasty but sincere goodbye to Pomona and escapes with Arion, leaving Pomona behind with the bear.
- Silvanus Agrestis Larum (father)
- Silvana Concordia Lara (mother)