Arithon - Role in the Story (Destiny's Conflict)
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Destiny's Conflict.|
Third Age 5923: In the summer, Arithon crosses back into Havish through the Storlain Mountains, drawn to Elaira's signature at the hut where she lived as a Koriani oath breaker for over two and a half centuries. He comes across Vivet being forced by a trapper, although the scene does not raise Alithiel's wards. Vivet flees after stabbing the trapper, and the man dies before he can reveal anything to Arithon. He tracks Vivet, calms her down, and escorts her to Elaira's abandoned hut. Vivet reveals that she was waylaid while returning home. Arithon finds a sliver of crystal in the hut that reveals partial truths about Elaira's ties to the Koriathain and her role in his betrayal. In fury, he leaves the hut to set snares and bury the trapper.
Upon his return, Vivet explains that she was returning to her ill mother in the Ettinmere Settlement. Arithon offers to escort her home, believing that that Ettinmere might be remote enough to hide and heal himself. He again refers to himself as Arin. Overnight, Vivet attempts to seduce Arithon using a potent aphrodisiac. Arithon barely evades her false affections but still chooses to help her get home. After a month of recovery, the pair travel to Ettinmere. Arithon is blindfolded and escorted by Ettinmen while Vivet petitions the elders on his behalf. Arithon first learns of Vivet's pregnancy while in captivity, and reluctantly agrees to claim child-rights of the child until puberty. He swears the oath before Roaco and the other shamans, not realizing that acceptance of child-rights also includes a nuptial celebration.
After proving his worth as a provider, Arithon is summoned before the circle of council elders over his lack of conjugal service. Because Vivet's unhappiness drew iyats to the settlement, Roaco and the circle of elders demands restitution for time lost. Arithon refuses, citing his ability to banish iyats on his own and whistles the threnody for banishing fiends. Afterwards, Tanuay deliver the council's sentence: a month of labor in the shamans' compound. Madraega orders him to muck the mews, and he takes the opportunity to disrupt the coerced bird sentries with a whistled tune. He stages a fall to avoid revealing his initiate mastery to a chastising shaman and is reassigned to the warehouse. While taking note of the enchantments stored there, he recalls his past inventory of the armory at Alestron and Dakar's many double-crosses. Before he can cause more mischief, a shaman orders him to forage for healing stock in the forest.
Arithon uses shadow to disrupt the shamans' control of a buzzard in order to regain his privacy. This triggers a vision showing the impact of the use of shadow on Lysaer's sanity in Erdane, with farsight revealing that Lysaer's ravings will ultimately lead to the extermination of the clans in Halwythwood. The vision shows Asandir traveling to North Gate, Laithen and Siantra murdered, and Tarens exhorting Esfand to rally survivors. He learns that that invasion has not yet occurred, since the vision was sent as a warning through time by Siantra. To avoid revealing his initiate mastery to the shamans, he decides to sing instead.
Arithon returns just before the shamans' deadline laden with supplies. He is met by Roaco and many of the Ettinmen. Sentenced to death for threatening the integrity of the settlement's borders, Arithon uses iyats to survive a rain of arrows and break Roaco's wand. He demands a restoration of his freedom of movement by threatening to make the shamans look weak before the chaos of a thousand more iyats. Roaco agrees and departs, leaving the rest of the Ettinfolk unaware of the reason for Arithon's survival.
After convincing Vivet's brothers to stand down on their threat to disown her, Arithon finally consents to staying in Vivet's cottage. He continues to avoid her enthralled affections and slips away in the night to play a lyranthe for the Ettinfolk. His musical talent convinces Vivet's granddame to speak on his behalf. Tanuay gives him the gift of warm boots and mittens and warns him that Roaco's powers guard an ancient secret. While trapping in the mountains, Arithon discovers multiple enchantments on his sleigh and clothes designed to spy on his actions.
Third Age 5924: By custom, Arithon is evicted from Vivet's shack and hazed by male family members as the birth approaches. Roaco attacks while Arithon is distracted by Vivet's unnatural charms. The shaman tries to reveal Arithon's true Name through his past experience in the King's Glade. Through Arithon's royal signet, Elaira challenges Roaco anonymously. Her bluff succeeds in forcing the shamans to proceed more cautiously. Arithon regains consciousness hours later after the birth of Vivet's son, unaware of Elaira's intervention. He names the child Valien.
Cosach, Tarens, and Dakar encounter Arithon atop Tiendarion, capturing iyats with Shadow and song. Dakar's arrival triggers a memory of Arithon's capture at Caith-al-Caen by Eriegal and the Koriathain in Third Age 5674. Because of the oath sworn over Rathain's crown at Athir in Third Age 5671, Dakar provided the Koriathain with Arithon's granted permissions and allowed them to take him into custody.
Cosach knocks Arithon unconscious, realizing that leaving him behind in Havish will allow the Fellowship to intercede in Rathain's defenses. Arithon awakens with a note from Dakar pointing him towards Sanpashir Desert.
In spite of his earlier refusal to assist, Arithon travels to Daon Ramon Barrens just as Cosach's war band is ambushed. Cosach is struck by arrows spell-turned by the Koriathain. Arithon's use of Shadow and a storm of iyats provides Dakar with the space to see Cosach's war band to safety. Arithon suggests that Kharadmon's earlier censure was actually for Dakar's benefit and that Cosach had not forsaken his obligation to defend the mysteries.
Cosach questions the value of upholding the mysteries, prompting Arithon to reveal a conversation he once had with Sethvir. Sethvir stated that the limitations imposed by the Compact might one day lead humankind to a heightened experience, where they could cohabitate with the Paravians and tap the flux directly. As proof, Arithon shares his experience in the presence of a living Paravian and reveals the contents of Ciladis' appeal to the clans when the Compact was formed. Before dying, Cosach reveals that Arithon once hid an artifact of his past in the Cascain Islands. Arithon expresses his intent to challenge the Koriathain on their own turf.
Arithon's route to Ithamon is cut off by True Sect diviners backed by the Koriathain and he turns south to Daenfal instead. Injured, he takes shelter in the necropolis. A woman with talent helps him hide inside of a vault, protected by a sigil that amplifies the dread of the searching soldiers. Weak from blood loss, Arithon faints in the woman's care and awakens to find himself captive of the Koriathain.
Under Prime Selidie's orders, Arithon is kept unconscious and covertly transported to a remote camp in Daon Ramon Barrens. With his access to magecraft and Shadow restricted, Selidie orders the use of the Great Waystone to break down his defenses and reveal how he manipulated the flux at Caithwood. He relives the experience of his original capture two centuries ago, when he stored his memories of Elaira and necromancy beyond reach in Rathain's royal signet. When Selidie pauses in her assault to amplify it with tienelle, Arithon unexpectedly sends his consciousness into the Great Waystone. Selidie stands down, expecting the Great Waystone to destroy Arithon and preserve a record of his talent.
Arithon realizes that the tableau inside the Great Waystone matches his final trial in Kewar Tunnel. He is pursued through the Great Waystone by the trapped collective consciousnesses of failed Prime candidates, who reveal that he was not betrayed by his anonymous true love and that Morriel has stolen Selidie's body. Theorizing that the souls trapped inside are assisting him, he uses music to pull Morriel's entrenched spirit out of Selidie's body and into the Great Waystone.
Arithon sentences Morriel for necromancy under Charter Law in Rathain, but offers to cede her fate to the Great Waystone itself. When the Prime attempts to regain control of the focus, it destroys her over the broken vow of using Elaira's love to engineer Arithon's downfall. The focus explodes, killing Selidie and the entire Senior Circle.
Arithon escapes while the Koriathain in camp are either dead or senseless, taking Elaira's spell crystal with him. At Skelseng's Gate, he examines Elaira's spell crystal and decides to explore Cosach's mention of the Cascain Islands rather than returning to the Ettinmere Settlement.
Meanwhile at Kewar Tunnel, Elaira learns that Arithon and Lysaer share a connection to the Lassiver lineage of the Biedar tribe through their s'Ahelas ancestry. This connection explains why the Biedar Eldest intended for the flint knife to reach Arithon.
Third Age 5925: Arithon crosses Melhalla and signs onto the Wasp as a sailhand in Spire. After being subject to his pranks, the crew votes to maroon him in the Cascain Islands. He intuitively rediscovers the site of his shipbuilding outpost where the Talliarthe has been concealed under spells for 251 years. The act of revealing the sloop restores his lost trove of initiate mastery. The sloop's log reveals that Arithon and Elaira sailed together on the sloop between Third Age 5671 and Third Age 5674 when he intentionally concealed it.
After provisioning at Ithish, he sails along the south coast to heal his body and mind. Violent storms blow him around the Scimlade Tip into the Cildein Ocean. Battered by storms, the Talliarthe runs aground on a reef near Los Lier and sinks. Arithon does not recall the archipelago stretching as far south as this location, not realizing the storms crossed him over impenetrable wards spanning time and space. He dives to the cabin to retrieve Alithiel and also finds that salt water has cleared Elaira's spell crystal.
Arithon encounters a wild unicorn on the beach. The unicorn challenges his trespass and only the defense wards in Alithiel prevent his dissolution. Unconscious, he is tended to by one of the Sunchildren. A centaur takes him to a cottage where he can recover on his own merits.
In recovery, Arithon discovers that the Ettin shamans have laid a binding on him through his oath to Valien. He resolves to survive in order to serve judgement on both the shamans and the Koriathain. In the days that follow, he realizes that Ciladis once lived in the cottage. He reads the Sorcerer's journals which cover diverse topics, from sketches of Fellowship members to recipes and spells. Arithon notes that Ciladis had learned of the Mistwraith's true nature as separate entities centuries before the rest of the Fellowship. The Sorcerer also invented a way for the sound of Athlien flutes to allow Athera's flora and fauna to persevere under the blight of the fog.
Arithon leaves the cottage in search of Ciladis' fate, navigating the island by magesight and guide symbols left by Paravian masons. He finds a location protected in stasis, and realizes that the spells surrounding it should have dispersed at the first touch of sunlight, had evergreens not grown up around the location. Dispelling the wards with his gift of Shadow, Arithon meets Ciladis, who recognizes him and thanks him for his freedom. Ciladis shares the knowledge that the drakes' binding protects the Fellowship from Paravian exposure, and that each royal family was chosen by a one of the Fellowship and imbued with a shared virtue as the foundation for the royal gifts. Ciladis explains that after he discovered the true nature of the Mistwraith, he raised the local flux currents around Los Lier to preserve Paravian vitality.
Ciladis learns from Tehaval Warden that Arithon has gained support from many Paravians. Avileffin's shipbuilding kin restore the Talliarthe and Tierendieriel Merevalia sees the prince safely away from the islands. She warns Arithon to beware of the faction with the most to gain should he abdicate his throne.
Arithon returns to the continent in late spring. He lands at the Salt Fens, leaves Alithiel aboard the Talliarthe and heads for Ettinmere Settlement. The shamans trap him in a formless stasis as he travels up the River Issing. By embracing absolute quietude, he ends up in a Sacred Grove with one of Ath's Adepts. This adept offers him a path to escape from the shamans with the potential of returning incarnate at one of their hostels. Realizing that this would not wrest away the fallen Ettin hostel, Arithon requests help facing the shamans instead. The adept explains that she would be able to rejoin the hostel to the prime vibration but that all bindings on Arithon's body and spirit would disband in accordance with their tenets.
Arithon awakens in Ettin during a ceremony of ritual dismemberment with the shamans stripped of their mage talent. A circle of twelve adepts rejoins the hostel to the prime vibration as he flees. He visits Vivet and promises that he will continue to support Valien to maturity if she agrees to leave Ettin with him.
Arithon's plan to seek sanctuary in Havish under Charter Law is thwarted when the Koriathain drive a storm into the Storlain Mountains. After holing up for several days, the trio turn east into West Halla to resupply. Still pursued, Arithon sets a non-lethal trap that ruins the Ettinfolk's bows and uses iyats to steal their pants.
When the trio crosses Silvermarsh faster than expected, Vivet loses their only knife as a delay. Arithon is forced to turn north to Daenfal Lake, where he strikes a bargain with a fishing boat captain for passage across the lake. In Daenfal, Arithon leaves Vivet and Valien at an inn while he resupplies.
He returns to find that the True Sect have taken Valien. A Koriani trap springs, using Arithon's own melody to breach his defenses. He is transported to the independent Koriani healer from the Daenfal necropolis, who has orders to bleed him out. In spelled paralysis, he sees Vivet killed by a High Examiner and resolves to save Valien from execution. He draws on a lesson from Mak s'Ahelas to regain self-control and slowly degrades the magecraft holding him paralyzed. He appeals to Sethvir while being transported to the scaffold, and names Valien as the heir to the crown of Rathain (unaware that the Fellowship has sworn an oath of nonintervention). Sethvir confirms the request with a star stamp.
Arithon resists the probe of the Exalted Examiner and pleads for Valien's life. As The Hatchet prepares to execute the toddler, Arithon realizes that the Fellowship have sacrificed Valien to save him. He tries to aid Valien's crossing of the veil but misses the proper intonation, and Valien's spirit is left in limbo. The Hatchet executes Arithon next.
Elaira and Tarens crawl out of hiding from beneath the scaffold. She realizes that Davien's binding from the Five Centuries Fountain is also subject to the Fellowship's oath of nonintervention and extends her own life force to keep Arithon stable while Tarens defends her. As soon as the oath of nonintervention is fulfilled, Asandir arrives and raises a defensive ward around the scaffold across time and space. He asks Elaira to begin healing Arithon with Kharadmon's assistance. Dakar and Tarens build a litter to transport the prince. At twilight, they transport Arithon through Daenfal to Daenfal Lake, where they vanish.