Arithon - Role in the Story (Initiate's Trial)

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Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Initiate's Trial.

Third Age 5922: Arithon awakens in spelled captivity without memories or agency. He realizes that he has been battling free wraiths using his Masterbard talents and a lyranthe for an unknown period of time. An unranked initiate of the Koriathain (Teylia) appears before him and says that all of the free wraiths have been banished. She offers him a means to escape from captivity and he ends up in the old Earl's court near Kelsing with the appearance of a laborer and no memory of his greater identity.

Arithon is picked up on the road to Kelsing by Efflin, Tarens, and Kerelie. He wordlessly helps them set up their wares in the Kelsing market and Tarens offers his last silver for the help. Arithon helps others at the market, including Tafe Aleman, who pays him three silver and a promise for a pint of beer. Tarens, Efflin, and Kerelie return home after a disappointing showing at the market, not realizing that Arithon has stowed away in their wagon. During the night, Arithon completes many farm chores and pays back Tarens' silver. Tarens suspects that the silver was stolen and Arithon, sensing this feeling, produces a receipt from Tafe Aleman. Tarens and Kerelie argue over whether to allow Arithon to stay. After sending Tarens to town for medicine, Kerelie accepts Arithon's help to move Efflin downstairs by the fireplace. Arithon proves unusually resourceful in foraging ingredients for dinner, and his overnight efforts to locate medicinal herbs for Efflin begins to sway Kerelie's opinion of him.

While Tarens is working the fields, Grismard pays an unexpected visit to Kerelie. Arithon defends her when Grismard persists in unwanted advances. Grismard is ejected but warns that the High Temple of the Light is searching for a minion of Darkness. Later, Arithon attempts to spell his name on paper for Tarens, who is scared by his knowledge of the old tongue. Arithon senses an argument between Kerelie and Tarens and flees rather than have his presence put them in danger. His farsight reveals that the True Sect will ransack the croft the next morning but find nothing.

During this period, it is also revealed that Arithon placed all memories of Elaira in Rathain's royal signet ring to prevent Selidie Prime from using her as a personal weapon against him. Although Elaira can still sense his presence and experiences through their empathic bond, he can no longer reach her himself.

Arithon remains out of sight but near the croft and continues helping with farm chores. When Efflin's fever fails to improve, Kerelie finally relents and allows Tarens to call Arithon back to the croft. She remains suspicious of his actions until he allows her to see beyond her disfiguring scar and the false belief that she has no worth. Arithon plays Paolin's flute for Efflin, instinctively describing the deceased family members in his music. Kerelie and Tarens realize that Paolin and Chan were Efflin's children, fathered with Aunt Saffie, and this shared knowledge is enough to begin Efflin's recovery.

The next day, True Sect soldiers arrive at the croft (later revealed to be the result of Grismard informing the temple about Arithon's presence). As a gambit to protect Efflin and Kerelie, Tarens murders the diviner and takes full blame for harboring a minion of Darkness. The Lord Examiner orders him to be taken to Kelsing for trial. Arithon sets a bonfire in the middle of the road to Kelsing, snarling traffic in both directions. The scene attracts iyats and, in the chaos, the chains on Tarens are unlocked by a resonant whistle. Arithon rescues him from captivity and they flee in a passing cart. They hide beneath the stall of a mean-tempered bull to avoid regular sweeps of True Sect soldiers.

Tarens and Arithon escape to an abandoned root-cellar by hiding in a cart full of fleeces. Arithon conveys to Tarens what he remembers of his name in runes, but cannot bridge the gap between the "Ari" and the "n". Tarens agrees to call him Arin until a better name surfaces. Tarens' grief triggers a wave of prescience in Arithon that reveals the fates of the rest of the family: Kerelie will find skilled work in a quality dress shop and Efflin will become a clerk and marry a good woman. Arithon also has flashbacks to his flight through Baiyen Gap in Third Age 5670.

Third Age 5923: To evade capture, Tarens and Arithon decide to enlist with the True Sect soldiers on the road to Valenford. Arithon's plan to be a clumsy nuisance to draw attention away from Tarens is hindered by fragments of martial memories that interfere with his focus. A reflexive catch of a thrown main gauche exposes his skills to the company and the soldiers tie him up as a potential escaped felon. Arithon tries to keep Tarens at a distance with harsh words, but the crofter is unable to look away. Tarens frees Arithon and the pair flee to River Silbern. Arithon recalls his mastery of Shadow and freezes the river, allowing the pair to cross over into the free wilds of Taerlin. Torn between a fear of Shadow and his loyalty, Tarens agrees to stay with Arithon until their pursuit reaches them, but he later binds Arithon to hand over to the True Sect.

The pair are watched by clan scouts in Caithwood. Before they can be killed, Arithon requests sanctuary in Paravian. He requests their help in understanding why his memory is fragmented and finally remembers his true Name. The clansmen reveal that Biedar magic was responsible for his memory block through Teylia and Arithon requests tienelle to learn more. With the drug, he relives past memories of his time in Caithwood and Raven reminds him that he is dreaming. A centaur revealed to be Kadierach's brother appears before Arithon and entreats him to defend Caithwood. When True Sect soldiers cross the bridge into the free wilds, Arithon has a vision of Caithwood's total destruction and Selidie Prime's subtle influence. He returns to his tienelle trance and devises an ingenious weaving of his Masterbard's talent, echoes of Paravian workings, and Asandir's past wards of Caithwood into a single defense of the free wilds.

This defense affects Tarens as well. Arithon asks the clan healers to drug Tarens until he can be transported away from Caithwood. On departure, he receives a lyranthe and the knowledge that he was once the Masterbard from a clan empath. When Seshkrozchiel and Davien alter the resonance of the planet through their changes in Kathtairr, Arithon senses the destruction caused in Erdane, where True Sect had built without regards to the flux lanes. He realizes that the change has unhinged Tarens' identity and resolves to use his music to bring him back.

Arithon's effort extends over days without effect. When he realizes that Selidie Prime is drawing the True Sect to his location, he amplifies her spell to attract everyone in range, from fishermen to smugglers. He continues to play for Tarens until a group of fishermen capture him. Shortly after, a gang of contraband runners kidnap him from the fishermen and escape in their lugger.

Arithon recalls his defense of the Evenstar and attracts iyats to the lugger. When the fishermen finally catch up with Tarens held captive, they find the lugger completely derigged, Arithon tied to the railing, and the smugglers hog-tied on the foredeck. The fishermen stow Arithon and Tarens in the hold while they assess the boat.

Arithon and Tarens are claimed by a True Sect blockade ship. Concerned for the damage done by iyats, the armada captain opts to sail to Torwent rather than make the longer trip to Barish. Ashore, Tarens reveals his claim to Jieret's lifetime of knowledge and pleads with Arithon to fight back against their captivity. The prince uses iyats to sabotage the wagon transporting them to execution, causing The Hatchet to move the prisoners into his own chariot. Arithon ejects The Hatchet and gains control of the vehicle, using Shadow as cover for their escape. At the edge of town, Arithon pauses to extinguish the fires caused by their escape.

Tarens fails to convince Arithon to avoid an encounter with True Sect troops decimating a nearby village. Arithon reacts poorly to Tarens' use of Jieret's memories and insists on proceeding, using Shadow to disguise himself as The Hatchet. He bullies a True Sect diviner and orders an abrupt retreat of True Sect troops to Tysan's border, saving a barn full of women and children from burning. Tarens leads the innocents to safety, but finds that Arithon has slipped away without him in the chaos.

As the True Sect army pushes south, Arithon's use of Shadow to evade is presumed to be in support of Havish's defenders. He attaches himself to an outlying True Sect camp as a surgeon's assistant. He leaves small gifts of food out for the reborn Isfarenn, who hides nearby and thwarts the True Sect's attempts to catch and tame her. Arithon is out foraging for healing supplies when The Hatchet arrives in camp with a temple diviner. The Hatchet uses a Koriani talisman to find Arithon's location and the prince is overwhelemd by spellcraft projecting Elaira's love. The reborn Isfarenn hears his despair and the pair escape together under the cover of Shadow.

Arithon uses magecraft and Shadow to confuse his trackers. He separates from the reborn Isfarenn and is gradually hazed eastward to Scarpdale. He eventually reunites with the horse and finds Alithiel hanging from her neck. The sword allows him to cross the border into Melhalla without falling prey to Selidie's ring of spells.