Arithon - Role in the Story (Warhost of Vastmark)
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Warhost of Vastmark.|
Third Age 5646: While returning from Werpoint, Arithon is flagged down by Asandir at Athir and swears a blood oath to stay alive for the sake of the Mistwraith's latent threat on Marak. Arithon makes a quick stop in Perdith to arrange for the arming of his brigantines, and then returns to Merior to find that Tharrick has burned his shipyard. He sends his remaining craftsmen back to work, and assigns the raving Tharrick to Jinesse's care.
Third Age 5647: Arithon forgives Tharrick for his sabotage and assists with his recovery, not through magecraft, but through his healing knowledge and bardic skills. Once the Khetienn has launched, Tharrick is shocked to learn that Arithon would let him betray his plans to Duke Bransian in recompense for the wrongs done to him. Tharrick chooses not to, because of his fair treatment in Arithon's hands. He hatches a plan to finish the second ship with the help of other shipyard workers, and Arithon and Dakar slip out to sea aboard the Talliarthe. After a stop in Innish, Arithon arrives in the Cascain Islands and leaves the Talliarthe, with plans to rejoin his shipyard workers at the site in a month's time. He and Dakar travel into the Kelhorn Mountains where they rescue a shepherd boy, Ghedair, and his sister, Jilieth, from attacking wyverns. In an attempt to save Jilieth, Dakar uses his longevity training to create the spell seals for healing while the mageblind Arithon links them to Jilieth through music. Because their works are in alignment with the Law of the Major Balance, they can do nothing when Jilieth chooses not to unmake the decisions that led to her death. During the healing, Arithon attempts to wrest back control of his magesight but fails, and Dakar is left with a complete impression of Arithon's consciousness. Arithon performs the song of Jilieth's passing for the family, and then leaves the tent to distance himself from the grief. He is discovered by Dalwyn, and the pair take comfort in each others' presence.
Arithon stays with the tribes for a month, bonding over shepherding and learning the logistics of living in the Kelhorn Mountains. He returns to the coast with Dakar and meets the Khetienn, finished on borrowed money. From spy network dispatches delivered by the ship's captain, he learns that Princess Talith has taken the initiative to rejoin Lysaer on the south coast. Arithon intercepts the Arrow with the Khetienn, and takes Talith and her handmaid hostage. By killing only her man out of Tysan, he preserves Havish's neutrality. Talith and her handmaid are taken to Arithon's outpost in the Cascain Islands. He arrives to find that Jinesse and Tharrick have travelled with Erlien's clansmen, intent on reclaiming her children. Arithon tries to convince Jinesse that Fiark would be better off as a trade factor's apprentice in Innish and that Feylind would be able to learn offshore navigation from no one but himself. He arranges to let Feylind pilot the Talliarthe for two weeks to prove her skills to Jinesse. Arithon then heads inland with Caolle and Dakar By day, he travels between shepherd tribes, convincing them of his plans to stand ground against Lysaer in exchange for permanent future improvements for the tribes. By night, he walks the Vastmark shale along Dier Kenton Vale, listening to the pitch of the stone. After culling Erlien's stolen livestock herds, he and Dakar return to the coast. Enroute to Ostermere, Arithon picks up Talith in Los Mar.
After arriving in Ostermere, Arithon lets slip his fears about the upcoming ransom exchange to Sethvir. He also performs once for the court of Havish. When the King Eldir learns that the ransom may have been stolen, Arithon admits the need for delaying tactics and calls upon his blood oath as the reason for the theft. He also shows that there is no evidence tying him directly to the theft. Two months later, Arithon escorts Talith to the ransom trade in Eldir's grand hall in Ostermere. Diegan presents him with the engraved cross-staff last gifted to Captain Dhirken. He hears the news that Dhirken was executed as a collaborator, in spite of evidence that their arrangement was purely contractual and not based upon sworn loyalty.
Arithon makes haste for Innish after the ransom exchange to clear debts before the notes are due. He asks Kharadmon about Talith's fate and learns that Lysaer's marred gift of justice will cause her to be put aside. Haunted by the choices that have led his friends to grief, Arithon decides to use tienelle to scry a path for the future and reclaim his blinded mage-sight. He is interrupted by Dakar, but knocks him out and ejects him from the captain's quarters. He proceeds with his plan but becomes trapped by guilt in a reliving of the battle at Tal Quorin. To free Arithon from his guilt, Dakar must use tienelle and claim Arithon's memories as his own. This temporarily restores access to Arithon's mage-sight. Instead of using it to recover, Arithon takes the opportunity to continue scrying. He forecasts a way to make the stakes too punishing for Lysaer, supported by Dakar's truesight. Before he loses access to his talents, Arithon releases Dakar from Asandir's geas.
Before the onset of winter, Arithon stages an ambush at the Havens, based upon his scried strategy. He alone takes responsibility for firing the signal arrows that dictate the start and cessation of attack, showing no mercy to the companies caught on the beach, despite Caolle's pleas. Afterwards, Arithon leads group of veteran clansmen to the beach, identifying 25 townborn for mercy with the remaining wounded killed immediately by knife-wielding clansmen. Without introduction, Arithon treats the survivors' wounds, sets their bones, and leaves them under guard in a shepherd's tent. Arithon returns to a promontory over the Havens and loses himself in grief. When Dakar seeks him out, the spellbinder asks for, and receives, permission for a spell of deep sleep to ease his suffering. Arithon, Dakar, and a group of clansmen escort the survivors into the Kelhorn Mountains over the course of 15 days. At the end of the trip, he reveals himself as Prince of Rathain and charges the survivors to be his envoys to Lysaer, for the purposes of saving the lives of the warhost.
After the strategy fails, Arithon takes position on the knoll at Dier Kenton Vale. He relies on Dakar's magecraft to lure Lysaer's troops closer and then covers the valley in shadow. Lysaer's counterattack of light triggers a landslide, which destroys 28,000 troops. For the rest of the season, Arithon uses his gift of shadow to protect his side while confusing the enemy troops. In separate gambits, he manages to capture the three s'Brydion brothers, Mearn, Keldmar, and Parrien. He writes a ransom letter to Bransian threatening their lives if Bransian doesn't withdraw his protection from Lysaer's supply lines. Arithon protects a shepherd woman through her labor in a glen dangerously near Skannt's headhunter patrols and Bransian's rescuing forces. He asks Dakar to escort the headhunters into the high country while he holds off the ascending troops with shadow. On the day that forces from Jaelot retreat, Dakar discovers Arithon posed exactly as foretold in his vision. The spellbinder launches his body towards Arithon, protecting him from Bransian's clan vengeance arrow. Arithon asks Asandir to be his envoy to Lysaer's camp, for the request of ransom on the four brothers s'Brydion. He also tells Dakar that the spellbinder is free to choose his next path. Dakar chooses to remain in service to Arithon.
In a meeting at the stone hut where Bransian's brothers were held captive, Arithon convinces all four brothers to remain allied with Lysaer in name, in exchange for the entire ransom and the authority to call off Bransian's lancers. Arithon leaves Vastmark behind and sets sail on the Khetienn for the Lost Isles of Min Pierens, based on a notation on a Paravian chart.