The Fourth Age

Beltira, Belkira, and Beldin all show up. Beldin's been watching Torak for the past 500 years; he reports that Zedar took Torak's body to the ruins of Cthol Mishrak in Mallorea. (When Zedar pulled Torak's body out, it caused a volcano to erupt, which precipitated the ash-fall in Nyissa.) The Companions head for Prolgu to pick up another party member. (Bv1 526-530)
"If this gets any more cloying, I think I'll vomit." –Beldin
The Companions encounter monsters galore in Ulgoland: Hrulgin, Algroths, rock-wolves, and even an Eldrak–Grul, by name. They are forced to kill Grul, who apparently holds a grudge from his last encounter with Belgarath. Garion and Polgara summon Poledra (in wolf form) to help deal with Grul; this sends Belgarath into a fairly serious depression. They rest for several days, then continue to Prolgu. (Bv1 534-549)
The Companions enter the Holy Caves under Prolgu. They are taken to meet the Gorim–apparently the same one who, as a much younger man, signed and aided in the negotiation of the Accords of Vo Mimbre. The Gorim summons Relg, a zealot and cave-diviner, since his aid is needed by Belgarath. Relg, having been told by UL Himself that "the child who will be Gorim will come to Ulgo through [him], and that [he] must prepare [himself] to nurture him and see to his rearing," has become extremely arrogant, and refuses. UL, however, has other ideas–such as a personal appearance and ordering Relg to obey Belgarath. Ce'Nedra remains behind when the Companions depart (but does give Garion a goodbye kiss). (Bv1 552-570)
A much-reformed Relg leads the Companions through the caves to Algaria. Hettar departs for the Stronghold to keep himself out of mischief (Hettar in Cthol Murgos is not, of course, a good idea…) and to keep the Alorn Kings informed of what's going on. The remaining Companions cross Algaria, climb the Eastern Escarpment into Mishrak ac Thull, and then turn south and ride hard for the South Caravan Route from Tol Honeth to Rak Goska. Along the way, Relg has a few of his preconceptions shattered (such as why Thulls are so anxious to avoid religious observances, which Relg feels are absolute). A Grand High Merchant from Tol Horb tells them that Taur Urgas is apparently attempting to drive all Western merchants out of Cthol Murgos. (Bv1 573-589)
The Companions reach the halfway point between Rak Goska and Tol Honeth. At the resupply station there, they meet an old friend of Silk's, a Nadrak by the name of Yarblek. When Yarblek mentions that Taur Urgas is coming to the resupply station, Silk leaves in a big hurry–he and Taur Urgas don't get along at all. The mad king arrives shortly thereafter; so does Brill, who has captured Silk. (Bv1 591-599)
Yarblek manages to find the Companions, who have taken refuge in a gully near the station. He gives them the basic layout, including the location of the pit where Silk is being kept pending a very painful execution in the morning. He also tells them that Taur Urgas plans to execute not only Silk, but everyone else in that camp who isn't an Angarak. In any event, Relg goes through the rock to get Silk, and the Companions continue south toward the Wasteland of Murgos, a former inland sea. (Bv1 599-607)
The Companions cross the Wasteland, dodging Murgo patrols, sandstorms, mind-searching Grolims (one gets through, unfortunately for him), and picking their way through the Tarn of Cthok (to throw off pursuers). They eventually arrive at Rak Cthol. Relg finds a large series of caves leading up; they begin climbing. After a while, they hear a woman singing… whom Belgarath identifies as a Marag (something borne out when Belgarath is able to converse with her in the Marag tongue). Taiba had escaped from the slave pens several days ago, with the intent of finding (and killing) Ctuchik, but got lost instead. Given Relg's problems with women and religion, she really rattles him. They leave her there while they go to deal with Ctuchik (mind you, they can't leave her behind, since she's also necessary to the Prophecy). (Bv1 607-624)
The caves under Rak Cthol happen to open into the slave pens, providing an access to the city. Silk takes care of the guards, stealing their robes (to provide some camouflage in the city). By twos, the Companions make their way to the Temple of Torak. Brill manages to ambush Garion; Garion, however, is accompanied by Silk. Silk and Brill fight, ending with Brill being tossed over the parapet (Rak Cthol is roughly a mile high). (Bv1 624-631)
"What was that?" Belgarath asked, coming back around the corner.
"Brill," Silk replied blandly, pulling his Murgo robe back on.
"Again?" Belgarath demanded with exasperation. "What was he doing this time?"
"Trying to fly, last time I saw him." Silk smirked.
The old man looked puzzled.
"He wasn't doing it very well," Silk added.
Belgarath shrugged. "Maybe it'll come to him in time."
"He doesn't really have all that much time." Silk glanced out over the edge.
From far below–terribly far below–there came a faint, muffled crash; then, after several seconds, another. "Does bouncing count?" Silk asked.
The Companions pick their way through the Temple of Torak, eventually winding up in Ctuchik's turret. Ctuchik is accompanied by a little boy, maybe six years old, with pale blond hair, blue eyes, and an aura of innocence. Belgarath demands the Orb; Ctuchik refuses, of course, and the two engage in a battle of sorcery. In the midst of the battle, the little boy opens an iron cask and removes a round, grey stone with a deep blue glow to it. He presents it to Garion with the single word, "Errand." Garion, sensing that for some reason the idea of him holding that stone scares Ctuchik senseless, reaches for it. Ctuchik makes his fatal mistake: he attempts to unmake the Orb. The aftermath not only annihilates Ctuchik and knocks Belgarath senseless, it sets off an earthquake. The Companions, with the little boy (and the Orb), escape back into the caves. (Bv1 632-644)
As the Companions flee through the caves, the Orb begins to study (for lack of a better term) Garion. (CoW 11-21)
Relg retrieves Taiba from the other side of a rockfall, over his strenuous objections (let's just say that Relg isn't cut out for a life of celibacy, and Taiba is apparently quite the babe). The Companions finish their descent of the caves, and set off across the Wasteland of Murgos after dark. The little boy continues to offer the Orb to people (nobody takes it, however, and Durnik eventually makes a pouch for it). Silk leaves a deliberate trail behind them, as they head forthe Tolnedran border. (CoW 21-33)
The Grolim Hierarchs combine their wills in an attempt to kill Errand, believing that if Errand dies, the Companions won't be able to get the Orb back to Riva. Polgara shields herself and the boy, telling Garion to protect the others (Belgarath still isn't fully awake). Silk also decides to leave Garion as the (however temporary) leader. Garion breaks up several attacks on Polgara and Errand. When the Hierarchs shift their focus to Durnik, in an attempt to get Polgara to drop her shield, Garion puts himself into his shadow and pays them a visit… telling the Hierarchs that they will leave them alone. Polgara has dropped her shield and Belgarath is awake when he returns. (CoW 36-49)
The Companions flee north toward Algaria, with a good portion of the Murgo army (and Taur Urgas himself) behind them. Since the Murgos are a little too close, they are forced to use a different trail than they'd planned. Belgarath, with unsolicited help from Garion, flips the rocks that the Murgo advance scouts are trying to roll down on them, way out onto the Algarian plain. (Belgarath, incidentally, is having a rather difficult time with them, while Garion isn't.) The Companions manage to ford the Aldur River before Mr. Murphy (and his Law) come calling: the horses are exhausted, and the fording of a very cold river did nothing to help their condition. They are forced to proceed more slowly, while more and more Murgos come down the Escarpment. Unfortunately for the Murgos, Cho-Hag has gathered the clans in anticipation of this event… and the Algars decimate the Murgos. Taur Urgas manages to escape, however. (CoW 57-70)
Barak's son has been born while he was in Cthol Murgos. Belgarath collapses–he's been drawing on his will instead of resting properly. (CoW 71-77)
The Companions arrive at the Algarian Stronghold. Belgarath gets a private room; when they're alone, Polgara tells Garion that it's entirely possible that Belgarath may have destroyed his power. Garion meets a tall, dark-haired girl by the name of Adara… whom Polgara reveals to be Garion's cousin (the youngest daughter of Ildera's sister). Elvar, a priest of Belar (and a Bear-cultist) is stopped from claiming the Orb. Errand meets the horse. (CoW 78-90)
Garion has a number of long talks with his cousin. He also visits Belgarath, who is awake and very cranky. Garion creates "Adara's Rose". (CoW 91-100)
On hearing that the Companions (well, actually, she's more concerned about Garion) are returning to Prolgu, Ce'Nedra begins some elaborate preparations. She overreacts just a little when she sees Adara, though, and actually admits to Polgara (and maybe even herself) that she is in love with Garion. She's still adamant about one thing, however: she is not going to Riva. (She's persuaded otherwise.) (CoW 101-113)
Relg leads the Companions through the caves to eastern Sendaria. While Belgarath and the others head straight for Sendar, Polgara, Garion, Durnik, and Ce'Nedra make a side trip to Faldor's, ostensibly to pick up belongings that had been left behind, but actually so that Garion would realize that he can't return there. They rejoin the others at Sendar with about a week to go before Erastide. They actually manage to convince Queen Layla (who is terrified of sea travel) to accompany them to Riva. (CoW 114-130)
The Companions, plus Fulrach and Layla, arrive at Riva at about noon on the day before Erastide. The Alorn Kings, most of their queens, Merel, Lelldorin, and Ariana are also there. Lelldorin, in fact, is now a wanted man in Arendia: He has apparently fallen in love with Ariana, Baron Oltorain's sister, and, well, he is an Arend. As Garion put it, "[Lelldorin] stole Baron Oltorain's sister, married her without his consent, broke his leg and assaulted several of his people–and a priest." Barak and Merel finally make peace with each other (shades of The Taming of the Shrew here…) (CoW 131-143)
5370, night before Erastide
The dream. Garion has a wonderful night; his dream involves reliving several scenes from his life, with everyone asking him one question: "Are you ready?" (CoW 144-149)
5371, Erastide
The ceremony to return the Orb to its proper place is held. Garion and Errand are the last to enter the hall (Errand has the Orb). When they reach the dais, Errand pulls out the Orb and deposits it in Garion's hand (which surprises Garion–touching the Orb is supposed to be deadly). Garion climbs the throne to place the Orb back on the hilt of the sword–which then comes off the wall! Garion attempts to keep it from falling, turning and raising the sword until it's upright. When it bursts into blue flames, he raises it above his head. Belgarath announces Garion's true identity to the hall. Torak begins to awaken. (CoW 150-160)
"Let Aloria rejoice, for the Rivan King has returned! All hail Belgarion, King of Riva and Overlord of the West!" –Belgarath (CoW 159)
"OH NO!" –Ce'Nedra's reaction to the above (CoW 160)
Garion tries to get used to being addressed as "Your Majesty", as well as the fact that he now has servants. One servant is particularly persistent, following along behind him in grey cloak. He also learns that it's a good thing he likes Ce'Nedra, because according to the Accords of Vo Mimbre, he will be marrying her. He goes into the city dressed as a normal person to learn more about the Rivans (he's their king, yet knows virtually nothing about them). (CoW 161-176)
After a long session dealing with Valgon, the Tolnedran ambassador, Garion returns to his chambers, dismissing his guards. The persistent servant throws a dagger at him, but evades pursuit by his enraged king. A corner of the would-be assassin's cloak is torn off in his flight, however. Garion turns the job of investigating the assassination attempt over to Lelldorin. (CoW 177-185)
5371, first day of Spring
Ce'Nedra's sixteenth birthday. As required by the Accords of Vo Mimbre, Ce'Nedra, Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, presents herself before the Rivan Throne. The ceremony is witnessed by most of the royalty of the West or their emissaries, including Salmissra's Chief Eunuch, Sadi. Garion shocks the assembled archconservative Alorns (I thought about changing that, but I liked the alliteration. –ed.) by declaring that Ce'Nedra will share the powers of the throne. Garion gives Ce'Nedra Beldaran's amulet. (CoW 193-207)
The assorted continuing tribulations of the Companions: Relg and Taiba continue religious and personal discussions, Merel and Layla speak briefly with Polgara. Queen Islena's problem is considerably more serious. She attended a few Bear-Cult meetings (the harmless ones), and now Grodeg, the High Priest of Belar and current leader of the Bear-Cult, is trying to blackmail her into remaining his chief contact within the palace. Islena tells Polgara that they are preparing for something major, and are even attempting to infiltrate Drasnian Intelligence–which would give them access to most of the world's state secrets. Polgara decides it's time to clamp down hard. (CoW 208-218)
Grodeg and his entourage arrive at Riva to perform the betrothal ceremony (not the wedding) between Garion and Ce'Nedra. Immediately after Garion is sure Grodeg and all of his men have left, the Alorn Kings, Fulrach, and several others sit down for a council of war. Garion is rather dismayed to learn that he will most likely be spending the rest of his life in armor, sword in hand. When Brand's son Olban enters to speak with his father, Garion notices a telltale rip in the corner of his cloak… (CoW 218-228)
Garion deals with Olban by telling him to throw the dagger and wool scrap into the harbor and never to mention the assassination attempt to anyone–and also not to kill himself. (He's sure that Olban hadn't planned the attempt in advance, it was merely impulsive.) That night, Garion has nightmares about the forthcoming war; the Purpose shows him the appropriate section of the Mrin Codex, which basically says that the people who would die in this war won't matter–only the confrontation between the Rivan King and Torak will. Garion sends for Belgarath and Silk. (CoW 229-233)

Continue with the Fourth Age (Belgarath, Silk, Garion)
Continue with the Fourth Age (Polgara, Ce'Nedra, etc.)
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