The Fifth Age

The Companions find shelter after their shipwreck–which turns out to be one of the places Eriond lived while he was with Zedar. They retrieve what supplies they can from the ship, and augment it the next day when Garion, Belgarath, and Polgara go hunting (as wolves). (KM 365-376)
A burning village announces that the Malloreans aren't really out to take Rak Cthaka–they're out to lure the troops from Rak Urga and Rak Morcth into a battle where the Malloreans have an advantage. Urgit convinces Belgarath to let him go to warn his troops. He departs, accompanied by Prala, but not before he crosses swords with Garion (for luck) and the Orb turns the rubies on his sword hilt to sapphires. (KM 377-379)
The Companions take shelter at a burned-out Murgo farmstead. Unfortunately, the farm has already been visited by Mallorean deserters, who impaled the farm's residents. (KM 380-382)
A conversation with an expatriate Sendar who's on the run from the advancing Mallorean army coming out of Gorut tells them that the killing has stirred up the Raveners (ghouls). (KM 382-386)
A group of Mallorean deserters cross Garion's path. A mistake, really. A big mistake. Garion takes out all eight of them in very short order, and takes their horses (they've been short of pack animals since the shipwreck). They reach the Great Southern Forest the next day (which is extremely foggy). (KM 386-392)
Toth gives them directions through the woods to a point on the coast near the Isle of Verkat, their current destination. They are attacked along the way by a Grolim and his hirelings, but manage to kill or drive off all the attackers. The Grolim reveals that he's attacked at Agachak's behest. They continue on almost immediately at Sadi's insistence–the Raveners, he says, are not just a ghost story. The Raveners prove that when they hunt down the survivors of the attack and eat them–alive, as they don't make any distinction between the dead and the living in their current condition. Working in teams, Garion, Durnik, Belgarath, and Polgara resort to sorcery to keep the party safe from the Raveners, until they ultimately come out of the forest near the coast. The Raveners turn back–evidently they fear the ocean. The Companions are met by a sprite-driven ship, which takes them to Verkat. (KM 393-414)
Vard, an elder of a village of Dals on the Isle of Verkat, welcomes them. He's been expecting them–the Book of the Heavens (i.e., the Prophecy) told the Dals that the Companions would be there eventually. Garion locates Zandramas' trail about a league to the south of the village. (KM 415-420)
Toth disappears, and Garion and Silk go out looking for him. They find him in the midst of a procession that ultimately goes to a clearing in the woods near the village. The villagers summon Cyradis, who tells them (over Vard's reservations) to give Belgarath a copy of The Book of Ages–a part of the Mallorean Gospels of Kell. Belgarath is rather ecstatic when they tell him; he spends all night reading after Toth brings him the book. After reading, Belgarath understands a great deal more about what's going on. Cyradis, it seems, has to make a choice between the Light and the Dark–whichever she chooses will prevail until the end of the universe. (KM 423-431)
Vard brings the Companions word that the Malloreans have begun patrolling the coastline and have sent out patrols into the island's interior, one of which will be at the village shortly. They pack up and head into the woods, encountering a seeress and a mad sorcerer (who picked up the art by pure chance). They ultimately hide in a large thicket in an obscure ravine. Their hiding place nearly works, until Cyradis appears and summons Toth (who carries Ce'Nedra out of the thicket). The captain of the patrol informs them that they're being taken into custody on the orders of his Imperial Majesty, Zakath, Emperor of Mallorea, who awaits their arrival at Rak Hagga. (KM 431-454)
General Atesca, the Mallorean military governor of the Isle of Verkat, takes the Companions to Rak Hagga. Ce'Nedra falls ill along the way. When she goes bonkers, they realize that something's really not right. Sadi gives her a fairly strong dosage of oret, which puts her to sleep. Atesca speeds up the pace of travel. (DLK 11-23)
They arrive at Rak Hagga. Ce'Nedra is taken to a room, accompanied by Polgara, while the rest of them are given an immediate audience with Zakath. (Brador, Zakath's Chief of the Bureau of Internal Affairs, is not–yet–though Atesca promises to do what he can.) Zakath proves to be a polite, cultured man (on the surface)–he's still a politician, and is subtly probing his guests. When he's finished, they're conducted to quarters in the women's section of the house. (DLK 25-34)
Polgara and Andel (Zakath's personal physician–and a Dal) discover the cause of Ce'Nedra's mysterious illness: another mind is attempting to subdue her will to its own. Polgara forces the other mind to reveal itself as Zandramas, then expels Zandramas from Ce'Nedra's mind, and also learns that Zandramas is in the House of Torak at Ashaba. (DLK 35-39)
Zakath and Garion have a midnight talk on various topics–what really happened at Cthol Mishrak, a little bit of recent Mallorean history (including the current religious turmoil caused by Urvon's proclaiming himself the new God of Angarak, and the Grolim priestess Zandramas proclaiming the coming of the new God–not Urvon, of course). Following orders from the Purpose, Garion also uses the Orb to show Zakath that Urgit is not Taur Urgas' son, and thus, that his vengeance is already complete–even if he didn't do it himself. (DLK 39-49)
Brador, the Chief of the Bureau of Internal Affairs, comes to see Garion after being unable to get an appointment to see the Emperor. A man calling himself Mengha emerged from the woods near Calida in Jenno (in Mallorea, obviously), calling for the city's surrender. When the city refused, Mengha summoned an army of demons (note that Torak had taken steps to make this, if not impossible, then very, very dangerous for the summoner). Zandramas' and Urvon's minions are also trying to raise demons. Garion immediately takes Brador to see Belgarath, and the three of them bully their way in to Zakath's audience chamber. (DLK 52-57)
While Brador is delivering his report of demons to an incredulous Zakath, the Emperor has a fit–spasms, frothing, and the like. Garion gets both Polgara and Sadi (there's a peculiar smell near Zakath); Sadi identifies the smell as being characteristic of poisoning with 'thalot', a slow-acting (but always deadly) Nyissan poison. They take the Emperor to his quarters. (DLK 57-60)
On hearing that no known antidote exists for the effects of thalot poisoning, Andel summons (who else?) Cyradis, who informs them that there is a cure–a flower somehow associated with a tall, dark-haired woman whose husband has much to do with horses. Garion, in fact, inadvertently created the cure–Adara's rose. Belgarath tampers with the natural order of things, using the seeds Polgara has, and creates a massive number of blooms in a very short time (less than 10 minutes). Zakath's clearing mind the next morning is an almost certain sign of recovery. (DLK 60-68)
Silk and Liselle begin looking into who might have poisoned Zakath; they rule out Urgit immediately, since poisoning is a contemptible way to solve political differences–except in Nyissa, where it's expected. A few days later, after removing Zith from the middle of Zakath's kittens (again), Liselle tells him who did it–a certain Grolim with all-white eyes, who's in the service of Zandramas, who's in Mallorea, which is where Garion has been trying to get Zakath to let them go. Zakath finds that very convenient; this is the last straw for Garion, who proceeds to blow out the two-foot-thick stone wall of Zakath's bedroom to show the Emperor just how impolite he could be in getting transport to Mallorea. They go to see Belgarath. Zakath learns what's really been going on. (DLK 69-84)
"We wouldn't want the Rivan King to get really angry, now would we? There are so many breakable things about–windows, walls, houses, the city of Rak Hagga–that sort of thing." –Liselle (DLK 79)
Zakath doesn't believe it, but agrees to believe it if Cyradis confirms it–an old Grolim order required that the proclamations of the Seers of Kell be written down, in order to discredit the Seers; not one prediction has proven incorrect. In addition, a Seer's truthfulness is legendary. Cyradis not only confirms what they've been telling him, but adds that he has a part to play as well. She also lets them know (in passing) that Mengha is a Grolim. (DLK 85-91)
Zakath decides it's time to return to Mal Zeth. They travel to Rak Hagga's seaport (not actually anywhere near the city), then take ship. Durnik and Toth make up, and spend most of the trip fishing. Zakath proves to be a changed man (at least on the surface), largely because he's sleeping and (for once in the last 30 years) content (largely because Cyradis has plans for him). He and Garion become friends. They eventually land at Mal Gemila and ride inland toward Mal Zeth. (DLK 93-105)
Ce'Nedra finally gets to deliver a classic Queen Victoria line as they approach the valley where Mal Zeth is located. It turns out that they are still a half day ride from the Imperial Palace (yes, Mal Zeth is that big). Zakath lets it slip along the way that his motives in bringing the Companions to his city aren't entirely above-board. They eventually arrive at the Palace. (DLK 106-116)
"We are not amused…" –Ce'Nedra (DLK 105)
"You wouldn't be able to move them."
"The gates. They're much too heavy to steal."
"Shut up, Silk." –Silk and Ce'Nedra on seeing the golden gates of the Imperial Palace (DLK 116)
The Companions are taken to their rooms in the east wing to freshen up before dinner. They also have a council of "war". Zandramas, they know, was at Ashaba, looking for something. They intend to go there, but can't without knowing exactly what's going on in Mallorea. Silk, Liselle, and Sadi unleash their collective genius for intrigue toward that end. (DLK 120-126)
Dinner proves to be an informal affair–with no more than two or three hundred guests. The meeting to discuss the demons in Karanda begins the next morning. Belgarath extrapolates a profile of Mengha from what's known about him. He also concludes that Mengha must have somehow gotten a Demon Lord under control, and that it was raising the armies of lesser demons. Mengha's armies are in fact a very great threat, even without the demons, since the Karands still tend to be demon-worshippers (even after centuries under Torak's Grolims), and Mengha's emissaries are stirring up those sentiments. Zakath decides that nobody is leaving until the army returns from Cthol Murgos to deal with Mengha. (DLK 126-145)

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