Ce'Nedra, Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, had joined a dangerous mission to recover the stolen Orb that supposedly protected the West from the evil God Torak. And somehow, she found herself feeling quite tender for Garion, the innocent farm boy, who would be forced into the strange tower in the... read more
After learning that Ctuchik, the evil Angarak sorcerer, has stolen the Orb from the Apostate Zedar, Belgarion and friends go after him. They first take a detour to the Vale of Aldur. In a cave on the way, Garion brings a dead colt (whose birth he had helped assist with minutes before) back to... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
After learning that Ctuchik, the evil Angarak sorcerer, has stolen the Orb from the Apostate Zedar, Belgarion and friends go after him. They first take a detour to the Vale of Aldur. In a cave on the way, Garion brings a dead colt (whose birth he had helped assist with minutes before) back to life. This event is of great significance as both Polgara and Belgarath maintain that before this, it was dangerous to use the Will and the Word to restore life to the dead, for this risked the life force of the one attempting it. To save time the group passes through the haunted land of Maragor, home of the Marags. Belgarath tells the company of how Maragor became haunted; because it is full of gold, the Tolnedran merchants had urged their Emperor to attempt forcing the self-sufficient Marags to participate in trade. When the Marags refused, the merchants started spreading (partly true) stories of the Marags being cannibals. The Tolnedrans invaded Maragor a short time later, slaughtered most of the peace-loving race, sold the survivors to the Murgos as slaves, and planned to take the abandoned gold for themselves. When the gold hunters invaded, Mara (the God of the Marags) unleashed ghosts of the lost people onto them, driving them and anyone who entered thereafter insane. In an effort to appease Mara's vengeful spirit, the Tolnedran Emperor set up a monastery at Mar Terrin, where Tolnedran monks carry out eternal penance for the slaughtered Marag race. As the protagonists move into the haunted plains, Mara can be heard weeping over the death of his people. Belgarath and Polgara therefore join their Wills to blanket the group into a waking slumber in an effort to protect their minds against the horrors of Maragor's ghost attacks. When they reach the center of the ruins Mara appears and senses Ce'Nedra, a Tolnedran and one of the race that destroyed his people, and in outrage he attempts to wake her up and drive her insane. The 'other awareness' in Garion's mind steps in and prevents Mara from harming Ce'Nedra, whereupon Mara recognizes it as the Voice of the Prophecy and relents, fleeing from its command. Afterwards Garion informs Belgarath and Polgara of his awareness of the other Voice in his mind.
While in the Vale of Aldur, Garion learns more about his powers. The group enters Ulgoland, and, after some dispute, recruits an Ulgo zealot named Relg to serve as a guide to Cthol Murgos, as they find out Relg has the ability to move his body through solid rock. Ce'Nedra is reluctantly left behind as a guest of Ulgo and the Gorim, because the Ulgo god UL warns that if she enters the city of the Murgos, she will die. Ce'Nedra obeys the will of UL, yet is shocked to realize that her initial refusal to remain behind was the knowledge that she would miss Garion.
Belgarion and friends enter the city of the Murgos and infiltrate Ctuchik's headquarters. Belgarath and Ctuchik fight an epic battle that ends with Ctuchik's destruction as he attempts to will the Orb out of existence. The group escapes, taking the now unconscious Belgarath, a boy later nicknamed Errand, who carries the Orb unharmed, and an escaped slave named Taiba, a beautiful woman who reveals that she is a descendant of the original Marag prisoners whom the Tolnedran warriors had sold into slavery.
II. Part One: Maragor
III. Part Two: The Vale of Aldur
IV. Part Three: Ulgo
V. Part Four: Cthol Murgos