Lady Talith is the high-born sister of Lord Commander Diegan in the city of Etarra. She is described as incredibly beautiful, with finespun, tawny hair, bronze eyes, delicate features, porcelain skin, and an Etarran sense of intrigue.
Role in the Story
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.|
Curse of the Mistwraith
Third Age 5638: Talith is first introduced during the ceremony to affirm Arithon's right of succession. She loudly points out that Arithon's ankle scars look like they were from felon's shackles. At the feast following the reading of the Royal Charter, Talith attempts to corner Arithon, but is foiled and distracted by Lysaer.
On the day of the coronation, Talith dines with Lysaer and Diegan. When Asandir and Dakar attempt to lock them all in, Talith escorts Lysaer out through a secret passage. As Etarra prepares for war, Talith finds herself more and more taken with Lysaer. They dance one last time before the war host leaves for Strakewood.
Ships of Merior
Third Age 5645: In early spring, she accompanies Lysaer to Avenor by way of the land route around the Instrell Bay. The caravan arrives in Erdane after a clan ambush in the Pass of Orlan. Lysaer proceeds to Avenor, but leaves Talith behind in Erdane.
Third Age 5646: When Pesquil arrives in Erdane with news of Arithon, Talith adds herself to his caravan through intrigue. After a trying journey through the Tornir passes, Talith arrives in Avenor, her intent to cast off Lysaer. She is outflanked by the news that Lysaer has set a date for their wedding, but continues to find that her love must once again make way for Lysaer's feud with Arithon. Talith and Lysaer marry in the spring, and Lysaer leaves for his boar hunt a month later.
Warhost of Vastmark
Third Age 5647: When Lysaer and the core of his troops are in Southshire, Talith leaves Tysan, intent on rejoining her husband in the south. After evading his loyal men-at-arms, she hires the Arrow out of Cheivalt to take her the rest of the way around. Arithon intercepts the brig with the Khetienn, and takes Talith and her handmaid hostage. By killing only her man out of Tysan, he preserves Havish's neutrality. During this exchange, it is revealed that Talith has always understood that the case against Arithon has been politics and not a pursuit of evil. Talith and her handmaid are taken to Arithon's outpost in the Cascain Islands, where her attempts to use her Etarran intrigues fail to disrupt the discipline of Arithon's men. She can't help but notice Arithon's compassion for Jinesse's twins.
When Arithon departs on business, the intentionally unguarded Talith convinces a few of the men to help her escape aboard the Royal Freedom. Talith is taken to Los Mar aboard the Royal Freedom, believing that she has outwitted Arithon, but later learns that Arithon had arranged for his men to transport her himself. She is taken aboard the Khetienn for transport to Ostermere. Talith is shocked when Arithon reveals his fears about the upcoming ransom exchange with Sethvir in front of Havish's court. After observing his interactions, she comes to the conclusion that his viciousness stemmed from his gift of compassion, not cruelty.
Lysaer and Talith accept the hospitality of King Eldir after the ransom exchange. Talith attempts to present Lysaer with her observations of Arithon's behavior during captivity, and tries to convince Lysaer to give up his cause. Lysaer mistakenly believes that the ransom scheme was just a ploy, with the larger strike being Talith's flawed belief in his cause. She is sent home (to a high, guarded tower in Avenor) on the royal galley while Lysaer returns to Vastmark to resume the war effort. Lysaer returns from Vastmark, and although Talith remains at his side, she is no longer part of his inner circle.
Third Age 5648: Talith accosts Lysaer in an attempt to make public the fact that he has set her aside. He hides this truth by hinting at her failure to conceive an heir. Later, Talith is forced into seclusion based on a rumor from Lysaer that she has been swayed by Arithon's supposed demonic powers.
Third Age 5653: Talith has been secluded for 3 years when Mearn s'Brydion scales the keep to locate her. She plots to conceive a bastard to sully Lysaer's false godhood, revealing to Mearn that she loves Lysaer but not his cause. Mearn leaves behind his rope and grapple, and agrees to deliver a note to someone who might be willing to help her conceive.
By spring, Talith is pregnant from a liaison with a worshipful palace page. Her isolation is intruded by Lysaer and his inner circle, who formally note her pregnancy. Lysaer orders a trial for treason, under pain of death, to follow the birth of the child. With no other avenues, Talith escapes from the tower using Mearn's rope and grapple. The rope is sheared by a crossbow bolt from an archer under the High Priest's secret orders and she falls to her death. Her death is labelled a suicide over a failure to conceive by public proclamation from Lysaer's inner circle.
Third Age 5922: Daliana sen Evend is recruited by the Fellowship to play a caithdein's role for Lysaer as her ancestor, Sulfin Evend, did. She bears a physical resemblance to Lady Talith, although the particulars of this connection to Lysaer are not revealed to Daliana in the beginning.