Right. So where were we?
Althalus and Company have begun to hire Arums. Right.
Somebody brings up that the Arums won't want to fight a religious war. Dweia drags everybody back to the Not-TARDIS, AKA the House at the End of the World so they can discuss this without being spied upon.
Why they don't just do this every other time will never be explained.
Anyway, it turns out Andine's brainwashing is coming along quite nicely:
“If you’re looking for a war, Dweia, I’d be more than happy to lend you mine,” Andine offered. “The notion of all the clans of Arum marching on the city of Kanthon gives me a warm little glow.”Aw. What an adorable little psychopath. Dweia wonders if Andine is any good at public speaking. She's not shy about it:
“Have you been asleep for the past several months, Leitha?” Andine asked archly. “I’m always speaking in public. Did you really think my dramatic way of speaking was an accident? My voice is the most finely tuned instrument in all of Treborea. I can sing the birds down out of the trees with it, and make stones weep, if I really want to. I probably don’t need those kegs of gold. Give me half an hour and a little room and I’ll mobilize the Arums with my voice alone.”
Eliar than comments that Andine even had HIM believing that he was a horrible monster. You know. For killing her dad.
And yeah, she's still feeding him randomly because Eddings thought it was funny.
Gher then suggests that they expand Andine's list of enemies to include all of Daeva's people and allies, and everybody thinks this is the greatest idea ever.
And then we get to meet all the other clan cheifs in person.
Eddings has this way of describing things. Namely, that if it's pretty, it's good. If it's not pretty, it's bad. This is very apparent when the Clan Cheifs are introduced. This is a good guy:
Koleika, the heir apparent to the gross Chief Neigwal, was the first to reach Chief Albron’s castle. Koleika was lean, with jet black hair and a jutting lower jaw. He was a somber man dressed in leather, and he wore snug leather trousers rather than the traditional kilt of most Arums. He spoke very seldom, and when he did, he had the peculiar habit of never permitting his upper lip to move. Upon his arrival, he spoke briefly with Albron and then largely kept to himself.And these are both bad guys:
A few days later, Smeugor and Tauri, the Chiefs of the two southern clans, rode in. Smeugor was stout, with a fiery red face that was a sea of angry red pimples interspersed with deep scars. He affected an air of forced gaiety, but his narrow eyes were cold and as hard as agates. Tauri had sparse yellow hair and no trace of a beard. He evidently thought of himself as a ladies’ man. He wore elegant lowlander garb that wasn’t too clean, and he eyed every female in Albron’s hall with open lasciviousness. Even as Koleika had, Smeugor and Tauri largely kept to themselves after their arrival.Yeah, apparently the signs of the Beast are zits and food stains on your clothing. Who knew?
And having these two idiots as bad guys will contribute NOTHING to the plot. Moving on.
Everybody gets to the great hall, eventually. Albron introduces the idea of a female monarch to the Clan Cheifs and they react predictably.
“That’s sick!” Twengor boomed.Yeah. He's a good guy.
Andine asks Eliar to dump some of the gold kegs out on the floor. Eliar does this until the Clan Cheifs start remembering that breathing once in a while would be a good idea, and she gets straight down to business:
“I’m just a silly little girl,” Andine told them, “So I’ll let my Lord High Chamberlain give you all the tiresome details. Now that I’ve earned your love, I’m certain that you just can’t wait to do as I ask.”That's copied and pasted directly out of the book, BTW.
“And what might that be, your Highness?” Gweti asked.
“Oh, I don’t know. Would ‘Burn! Fight! Kill!’ be too much to ask?”
They talk about going to war for a while, then Leitha drags Althalus off into a corner and points out that the two snaky looking clan cheifs are in fact snakes. They're working for Ghend.
You know, having a mind-reader in your pocket kind of ruins the suspense.
A little bit later they all go back to the House again because Ghend is marking his people on a place called Wekti. Apparently it's a mostly rural country with a large number of sheep and a reputation for timidity. They need to get there NOW otherwise they'll lose the country.
Then Gher suggests putting their new army in the house. ALL OF IT.
“Oh, that’s right. I was sort of thinking that Eliar leads them through a door they can’t even see into the House here, but they don’t know that they’re in the House because the bushes hide it. Then they go to another door and walk out into this Wekti place. They start over here, and they end up over there, but they don’t even know it.”
“Except that they start out in the mountains and end up in the flat country,” Eliar objected.
“The House can take care of that. Since it’s Everywhen, it can make the trip through those bushes last for as long as Emmy wants it to last. The soldiers are going to think they’ve been walking through those bushes for weeks and weeks, but when they come out, it’ll only be a minute or so later. We’ll know that, but they won’t.” He looked at Dweia. “Could we do it that way, Emmy?” he asked her.So now Althalus is going to have an army in his pocket too. Great.
The chapter ends with Gher rubbing Dweia's kiss off his cheek. Aww. How cute.
Yeah, I'm going to go die in bed with some theraflu. Have a good night!