The Fifth Age

The Companions arrive at Tol Honeth (and stay at the Imperial Palace, of course). It turns out that even Varana has heard of Naradas; his advisors think the Grolim's an agent for King Urgit. The Drasnian ambassador (and Liselle) bring bad news–the courtesan Bethra has been murdered. This is important to both the Tolnedrans and the Drasnians, since Bethra would often supply to the Emperor information gained during her professional activities, and was also Drasnian Intelligence's most secret agent ("Hunter") at the time she died (responsible for, among other things, poisoning Grand Duke Noragon of Tol Honeth and suggesting Varana's adoption to Ran Borune XXIII). (KM 75-82)
Belgarath and Garion visit the Imperial university library, searching for a copy of the Prophecies of the Western Grolims. The copy they find, unfortunately, was written on human skin, and the ink has faded so badly that very little of the prophecy is legible. The one phrase they can read is "…seek the path of the Child of Dark in the land of the serpents…" confirming that Zandramas has, in fact, gone to Nyissa. (KM 82-88)
The next morning, it snows. Varana informs Garion that Naradas has been seen in Tol Honeth; he offers to arrest Naradas, but Garion declines (since Naradas is a Mallorean Grolim, it wouldn't do much good). Morin, Varana's chamberlain, informs the monarchs that someone has been quietly killing members of the Honeth family. The assassin smothered a few with their own pillows, and defenestrated one of his targets; now, however, he's started using his knife. (KM 89-95)
"It never snows in Tol Honeth!" –various
Silk is awaiting the rest of the Companions when they return from the Emperor's Erastide party. It seems he's been out killing the Honeths–twelve, at last count, with a thirteenth (Baron Kelbor) who isn't likely to survive. Kelbor, it turns out, is the man who actually gave the order to have Bethra killed. A Mallorean, most likely Harakan, assisted and participated in the murder. Over Belgarath's objections, Liselle joins the party. (KM 100-106)
"Please, Durnik. Murder is such an ugly word." –Silk (KM 102)
"Curmudgeon? Pol, you watch your tongue."
"That's really very difficult, father, and it makes one look ridiculous."
–Belgarath and Polgara (KM 105)
The Companions leave Tol Honeth using a service provided by the late Bethra (for customers at one of her houses of ill repute). They head for the Wood of the Dryads. X'bel (the Dryad who wanted to kill Garion the last time they were there) says that she saw a Nyissan craft near the mouth of the River of the Woods late the previous summer; a robed human carrying something got off, then the boat caught fire. The sailors who jumped overboard became sharkbait. Without stopping to think, Garion takes Eriond's horse (at Eriond's insistance) and heads out, arriving at the mouth of the river in record time (it should have taken a couple of days, but took less than half an hour–thanks to the horse). The horse translocates himself and Garion to the south bank of the river–where the Orb picks up Geran's trail. (KM 107-124)
Zandramas' trail leads past Sthiss Tor. The Companions have no intention of entering the city, but the poisoner Issus is waiting for them; his employer (Sadi) wishes to speak with them. Sadi has recently been removed from the position of Chief Eunuch by a rival he hadn't gotten around to poisoning yet. Since Salmissra put a price on his head, he offers the information he has about Zandramas in exchange for being allowed to accompany the Companions (and as it happens, he's supposed to–Belgarath really isn't happy about it, though). Acting on Sadi's information, Garion and Polgara visit the palace; it turns out that Salmissra had nothing to do with the Nyissan ship that Zandramas fled on. Sariss, her Chief Eunuch, abused his authority to arrange for the ship. Salmissra isn't happy; she and Sariss share a 'kiss', and the position of Chief Eunuch is vacated. Salmissra also reveals that Zandramas is a woman, and that she was the dragon who visited them near the Ulgo foothills. (KM 133-162)
Sadi's plan for allowing them to move around freely in Cthol Murgos (which is where Zandramas went) is to pose as slavers; the Murgos are so used to the slavers that they'll be practically invisible. Sadi purchases gear appropriate to the disguise. (KM 170-175)
The Companions come across what's left of Zandramas' guides; when she got to the Murgo border, she didn't need them any more. She broke their legs and left 'em for the lions. (KM 176-177)
The Companions begin to round the Great Desert of Araga. While observing (undetected) a battle between the Mallorean and Murgo forces, the Dagashi discover them and escort them to Kahsha. Jaharb, the Chief Elder of the Dagashi, offers them a commission: escort a Dagashi assassin from the Temple of Torak in Rak Urga to Rak Hagga, where 'Zakath's headquarters are. As this is, of course, the classic Mafia offer, they accept. Dagashi escort them to Rak Urga. (KM 177-199)
Sadi ("Ussa of Sthiss Tor") and company are escorted by the doorman of the Temple of Torak to the office of Chabat (the Hierarch's current favorite, and also his secretary… well, sort of). She allows them to stay at the Temple until the Hierarch returns, then leaves with her lover, Sorchak (who secretly hates her guts). It's quite evident that Chabat is not a popular priestess. (KM 202-208)
Garion and Belgarath locate a copy of one of the prophecies they've been looking for. It states that "the path that has been lost will be found again on the Southern Isle." (Meaning the Isle of Verkat.) They also learn that Geran is some sort of "sacrifice" in the Dark Prophecies. Silk finds them and tells them that Eriond is missing. (KM 209-215)
Eriond walks into the Sanctum and puts out the fires as the Grolims are about to sacrifice a slave. Garion watches the whole thing, but doesn't interfere (a course of action enforced by the Purpose). Eriond is taken to Chabat; Garion makes his way back to the others and tells them what's happened. They're all thrown into the dungeon until Agachak returns. (KM 215-227)
Sorchak and Chabat put the Companions on trial before Agachak (who is, incidentally, fully aware of what the two of them are up to). Urgit, the King of the Murgos, arrives in the middle of all of it. Having failed with Agachak (who tests Eriond for evidence of sorcery–which is how Sorchak claimed he'd put out the fires–and fails to find any), Chabat brings out Sadi's case–the one with all the drugs (which are illegal in Cthol Murgos) and Zith. Sorchak makes the big mistake of opening Zith's bottle over Sadi's protests, and Sorchak dies before he hits the floor. Urgit takes the Companions with him back to the Drojim Palace, while Agachak keeps the Dagashi they're supposed to escort to Rak Hagga in the Temple. As it turns out, Sadi and Urgit are old friends. (KM 227-242)
Urgit and the Companions arrive back at the hideously decorated Drojim Palace ("The product of whole generations of diseased imaginations.") They are introduced to both Lady Tamazin, Urgit's mother, Lady Prala, who'd like to be his wife, and Oskatat, Urgit's seneschal. Silk hides his face when Oskatat enters, since Oskatat would recognize him as being the person who killed Taur Urgas' oldest son. (KM 242-252)
Several assorted mysteries explained: Urgit explains why Zakath is so hell-bent on killing himself and every other Murgo on the face of the planet; Tamazin did recognize Silk; and Tamazin also knew Silk's father–rather well, apparently. (KM 253-261)
The Malloreans begin marching on Rak Cthaka, which, were traditional Murgo rules-of-war followed, would be lost. Garion suggests sending the troops by sea (it's what the Alorns do–but not, apparently, what Murgos do, even if it is logical). And for the first time, Urgit stands up to his generals, and orders one to go down to a barracks, and order the troops to board the boats in the harbor–on penalty of losing his head immediately. (KM 272-277)
Oskatat recognizes Silk as "Prince Kheldar of Drasnia, the most notorious spy in the entire world." Urgit remembers that Kheldar is also an assassin, which nearly sets off some major unpleasantness. Sadi points out that they don't really have any business in Rak Urga; just give us the ship, we'll deliver your Dagashi to Zakath's headquarters, and be on our way. Tamazin agrees most emphatically–a bit too much so, in fact. It turns out that Kheldar's father visited Rak Goska when Kheldar was about 8–40 years ago. Urgit is 39. And Urgit and Silk bear a rather striking resemblance to each other. You draw the conclusion… (KM 278-290)
Belgarath assumes an attitude of authority and inadvertently outs himself when Tamazin finally recognizes Polgara. He's about to insist that Tamazin and Urgit accompany them on their trip, but Prala puts her foot down on hearing the weather conditions around the south end of the Urga Peninsula–Tamazin is too frail to survive the trip. Urgit and Prala do accompany them, however. (KM 291-296)
Agachak, Chabat, and Kabach the Dagashi meet them at the harbor. Well, not Kabach–as he was apparently killed en route to Rak Urga, and replaced by Harakan. Harakan accuses Garion of being Belgarion of Riva; Silk accuses Harakan of being a Mallorean Grolim. (Which they both are, of course.) Urgit suggests trial-by-combat to solve the situation–Harakan is no match for a very-pissed-off Garion in a purely physical duel, and thus is forced to resort to sorcery to save his own life. Agachak takes off after Harakan. Garion barely restrains himself from throwing Urgit out into the bay. Chabat attempts to escort the Companions back to the Temple (likely with some interesting plans for Sadi), but Urgit puts his foot down. At that point, Chabat raises a demon, despite repeated warnings from Polgara that such an act endangered her own soul. When the demon breaks free of Chabat's control, Polgara is forced to send Chabat to Hell (literally) with the demon to prevent the demon from returning of its own volition. (KM 297-315)
The Companions, Urgit, and Prala depart for Rak Cthaka. Urgit and Silk swap childhood stories, and Silk introduces his brother to the Alorn side of his heritage (meaning that they get drunk together). Durnik and Toth indulge in sea-fishing. Garion gives Urgit a little advice on how to handle being the king. Liselle starts making friends with Zith. (KM 319-336)
The Murgo ship carrying the Companions encounters a squadron of Mallorean ships, and is forced to take a detour up toward the Gorand Sea. In an attempt to lose their pursuers, they try to get into a small cove just inside the Sea, but instead, the ship crashes on a reef in the center of the canal. Garion, Durnik, and Belgarath use sorcery to lift the ship off the reef and beach it; the ship is pretty much shot when they're done. They rescue their horses from the hold, then chase off the sailors (with a convincing illusion of Hettar, Barak, and Mandorallen, courtesy of Polgara). (KM 343-364)

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