I am a sorrowful, pathetic excuse for a critic. My faves are problematic. Pray for my soul.
Oh, and chapter eighteen opens with unfaltering praise for money-hungry mercenaries. I am not kidding:
- “You’re wrong, Bheid,” Althalus disagreed. “Sergeant Khalor’s a very good soldier who knows enough not to believe people when they talk about heavenly rewards instead of the money in advance. The Arums work only for pay, and that makes it nice and simple.”
Naturally, the others doubt that the Money Hole has that much gold in it. You know, because putting sane limits on the DEMS present is modis operandi in other books. Not in an Eddings book, though, OF COURSE Al has enough money to hire the ENTIRE NATION OF MERCENARIES.
Also, I've begun playing Fallout 3, which I suck at. It's obviously Oblivion recycled, but I suck at range weapons, always have, always will, and Fallout? IT'S ALL GUNS. But anyway, based on that, this line?
The Arums fight for gold, which never changes.The unintentional hilarity never changes.
Anyway, to hire ALL OF ARUM Althalus has to get Clan Cheif Albron to call them all into one place. This means that Eliar has to open the Magical Door in the House at the End of the World that leads to Albron's arm's room. Yep, we're putting the Not-TARDIS to use immediately.
Also? Andine is fucking creepy.
Andine set Eliar’s plate down on the table in front of him. “Eat it before it gets cold, Eliar,” she instructed.I do not think these characters are intended to fuck.
“Yes, Andine,” he replied, picking up his spoon. There was something slightly unnerving about the intensity of Andine’s expression as she watched Eliar eat. Althalus shuddered slightly and looked away.
So Althalus basically pops into existance in Albron's armory, tells him the truth--that Al is working for a formerly unknown goddess--and then very quickly says 'YEAH BUT I AM PAYING MONEY TO WORK WITH ME" which makes Albron start to salivate. So Arum will work for any crazy man with money. Gotcha.
Well, I guess that's how we've kept Blackwood employed.
Sargent Kahlor skins Althalus alive for using Eliar over the summer. Incidentally, Sargent Kahlor is one of my favorite characters in the novel. Carry on.
Everybody has another dream:
The mountains and forests were silent, silent. And then from afar came the wailing of utter despair. And with that wailing, the people came out of the west. Crude they were, clad in half-rotten hides of beasts, and red were their tools and weapons—axes and mattocks of ruddy copper. And Ghend walked among the people, whispering, whispering, and his eyes burned the ruddy flame of copper.Putting conjunctions in the wrong place and repeating yourself is not lyrical archaic poetry.
Basically Ghend tries to convince a primitive tribe that Gelta is their war Goddess. We never find out if this really works or not.
Althalus pays a visit to the Money Hole to pay for the services of all the Arums. It doesn't even begin to dent how much gold is down there.
Trust me. This DEM is like wheels within wheels of WTF.
Althalus turns the bars of gold into coins and fills wine barrels with it. He has a lot of wine barrels.
Now, there are a lot of things Althalus can do with the not-TARDIS. Some of them would involve revealing the existance of the House at the End of the World and all its potential. Althalus does...well, exactly that. He brings Albron into the House and shows him all the gold, just to prove that he can hire all of Arum.
Basically, guys? The reason I love this book? It's not because of the romantic antics here. Al has a not-TARDIS and holy shit does he use the fucker. This book has just become fucking fun.
Al and Albron have a heart-to-heart, in which Al reveals that he is the real Althalus and Albron believes him. Don't care. NEXT!
Althalus then tells Albron everything, and ends with an admission that Althalus is basically going to swindle the pants off all the Arums, but he's going to pay them well for the privilege. Albron, being the upstanding patriot of Arum that he is, is fully on-board with this.
Albron gives Althalus the low-down on all the other clan cheifs. This is kind of important to the plot, so:
Delur is senile with good generals. Gweti is a greedy asshole. Twengor is a drunk and I have issues with later events involving him, Smeugor and Tauri are about as trustworthy as characters can be when their names are a few vowels away from being "Smegol" and "Traitor", and the last chief of note is actually just a representative named Koleika, who is basically the big stick you hit everybody else with.
This is five paragraphs worth of data. I hope you're happy.
The cheifs start arriving. The chapter closes with Delur arriving and making a big deal about being there.