Arithon - Role in the Story (Peril's Gate)
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Peril's Gate.|
Third Age 5670: Arithon and Fionn Areth rejoin Dakar at a mill outside of town. Keeping his word, Arithon allows Fionn Areth to challenge him in combat and suffers a wound to his right hand. As the Jaelot guard closes in, Arithon knocks Fionn Areth unconscious, leaves him in Dakar's care, and draws the guardsmen away on his own. Arithon encounter Luhaine who does what little he can as a discorporate shade to conceal the prince from the guardsmen with his supplies intact. Luhaine directs Arithon to travel to Ithamon and asks him to carry on without Dakar, whose services are needed to prevent disaster at Rockfell Pit.
As Arithon travels to Ithamon, he briefly spots a golden eagle and has the feeling that he is being watched. In Baiyen Gap, he rests to clean his wounded hand and is overcome with a fever from the infection. The subsequent weakness forces him to hole up in a fissure, where he ends up between two bands of guardsmen from Jaelot. Using his gift of shadow, he creates the illusion of charging centaurs to chase the second team over an icy cliff, and then uses his bow to mercy kill any survivors. After falling unconscious in a snowdrift, Arithon is taken in by a half-breed clansman who offers him shelter in spite of the danger. The trapper is mortally wounded by Jaelot's guardsmen but refuses to betray Arithon. Arithon recites an oath of fealty to the trapper and stays with him until death.
Arithon proceeds towards Ithamon, pursued by the guardsmen. The hand injured in the swordfight with Fionn Areth refuses to heal. He arrives at Daon Ramon Barrens after three fortnights, caught between his pursuers and a company of Jaelot guardsmen sent ahead to surround Ithamon. He delays his pursuers with a veil of shadow that conceals the sun for an entire day. When he is spotted by the company at Ithamon, he attempts to use shadow to race through their lines, but is knocked unconscious when his mare stumbles. He is captured by Jaelot's men, but fear seeded by a golden eagle overhead spares him from immediate execution. Arithon uses his gift of music to lull his captors to sleep and then flees northward, away from Ithamon. Nearly caught by troops from Darkling, he again uses shadow and music in evasion. These actions are revealed to Jieret via the clan chief's gift of Sight.
Jieret's war band crosses paths with Arithon along the River Aiyenne. Jieret doses the prince with valerian to tend to his wounds and grooming, but Arithon's mage training mutes the effects of the soporific. Arithon accepts that Jieret's war band will offer him a chance for survival and theorizes that the use of magecraft might improve his odds. Near dawn, Arithon promises to swear a blood oath to Jeynsa at Jieret's request, and then uses tienelle and a blindly-crafted ritual in an attempt to open up Jieret's latent mage talent. Jieret loses consciousness and Arithon's attempts to bring him back are misconstrued by the Companions as Curse-driven madness. When his voice fails to bring Jieret back, Arithon convinces the Companions to present Alithiel and uses his voice to awaken the sword. The sound of the sword restores Jieret to consciousness with the new ability to use mage-sight. Arithon helps Jieret acclimate to the new gift. Arithon prepares 8 spelled acorns for his plot against the Alliance army, and then spirit-walks so that the Curse does not overcome him. He plans to have his spirit bound to [Alithiel]] and transported to safety by Jieret. However, Jieret assigns Braggen in his place and sticks to this decision in spite of Arithon's vicious entreaties. After Arithon's spirit is bound to the sword, Braggen travels north with the sword and Arithon's inert body.
After ambushing an Etarran patrol, Braggen disguises Arithon as Dorik, an Etarran officer, to pass through an Alliance checkpoint and reach Mathorn Road. Tracked by Skannt's best tracker in the Mathorn Mountains, Braggen unsheaths Alithiel, restoring Arithon to his physical body. Told by Braggen to run and find a clan outpost, Arithon climbs the cliffs instead and kills the rest of the tracking party with arrows from above. Through their blood bond, Arithon feels the moment when Jieret is killed by Lysaer in Daon Ramon Barrens.
Arithon and Braggen reach a clan outpost in the Mathorn Mountains before dawn on the Spring Equinox. He leaves Braggen in the scouts' care and continues on, escorted by Hewall and another clansman from the outpost. After sunrise, Arithon is summoned by Kharadmon through Fellowship mandate and Dakar's claim to Arithon's free will permissions. Called upon to be a life force proxy to prevent further damage to the wards around Rockfell Pit by the lane surge, Arithon refuses because of his blood oath to live at any cost. He suggests that his mastery of music might offer a solution, and Kharadmon gives him a momentary reprieve to explore this option. As he did when using the focus at Sanpashir, he rediscovers the thread of music used by Paravians at Caith-al-Caen. Because his mortal senses cannot bind the harmonies of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Lanes in time, he reaffirms his royal ties to the land to draw upon its strength. This allows him to tame the Lanes just as Kharadmon and Luhaine's efforts fail at Rockfell Peak. In the aftermath, the wards on Rockfell Pit are preserved and the unnatural winter brought about by Morriel's attack on Athera is undone within the boundaries of Rathain.
Arithon urges Hewall and the other clansman to press ahead as he mentally battles the pull of the curse in his overextended state. They are intercepted by Davien. Unable to heal the prince through his unconscious defenses, Davien enchants a water flask and asks the clansmen to offer it to Arithon when he awakens. He also reveals that Kewar Tunnel is the only place that might deter the Etarran army and offers his eagle as a guide to the location. When Arithon awakens, he listens to the water flask and determines it to be safe to consume. The draught restores some of his self-control. After learning of Kewar Tunnel from Hewall, Arithon chooses to travel there. He flash-freezes a corrie with shadow to trap many of his pursuers, and then scales the mountain up to Kewar Tunnel. He finds shelter by crossing the threshold into Kewar Tunnel just as the curse is about it immolate his identity.
Arithon awakens rested inside of Kewar Tunnel and Alithiel's wards go active with no enemy in sight. He uses the sword to light his way until the strength of light and sound emanating from it render him unconscious. He learns that enemy he will face in the maze is his own self. Within the maze, Arithon relives incidents from his life with the added perspective of other participants. His first experiences involve his training at Rauven, his interactions with Jorey s'Ahelas and Mak s'Ahelas, and his eventual decision to join Avar s'Ffalenn in Karthan. The maze also replays his failure to bring Karthan back from poverty. Elaira secretly joins Arithon in Kewar Tunnel by way of their empathic link, as he relives their initial meeting in Erdane, the events leading up to the failed coronation in Etarra, and the Battle of Strakewood. The ghost of Madreigh eases his passage through the battle. After reliving his blood oath at Athir, Arithon realizes that the curse will amplify and refire its geas through each reliving. When Arithon recovers his mage talent during a reliving of the tienelle scrying aboard the Khetienn, he discovers Elaira, and claims her as an inseparable part of himself to protect her from Kewar Tunnel's defenses. He also exposes the curse's hidden effects on his plan for the Havens. Arithon's passage through these relivings is eased by visits from the spirits of Dalwyn and Jilieth. Arithon is visited by the spirit of Avar s'Ffalenn aboard the Khetienn, who tells him that Karthan was raised out of poverty by the mages of Rauven. Avar's presence calms and restores Arithon, and he suggests that the curse can be mastered. During the reliving of his battle with Caolle, Arithon tries to remain passive in the face of the curse but cannot reconcile his blood oath to survive with his s'Ffalenn compassion.
When Alithiel is drawn in the reliving, Arithon is able to capture the specific tones that allow its starspell to disrupt the curse. He uses this knowledge to undo the effects of the curse in the present day through subsequent relivings up to Baiyen Gap. After reliving Jieret's final experiences, he forgives the chieftain for his decision to trade places with Braggen. At the point where Jieret's actions summoned a centaur, the same centaur (Kadierach) appears before Arithon in Kewar Tunnel. Arithon is challenged to dispel the belief that he is powerless and helps a man to die in peace during a reliving. He accepts absolution from Kadierach and finds himself at the center of the maze, with full access to his mage talents and all facets of himself rejoined into one.
Arithon pairs his refound mage talent with his Masterbard talents to make his way through the rest of the maze. He unmakes the dangerous illusions in the maze with grand conjury and then remakes the maze through music. Arithon awakens in Davien's chamber to find his hand healed. Davien describes him as the most gifted individual ever to try the influence of the Fellowship and explains that the rebellion was similar in intent to Arithon's actions at the Havens. He offers Arithon sanctuary and access to his library, and Arithon swears a guest oath.