The Teilarata began to recognize the value of open trade. At the same time, they suffered the predations of the Narze banshees, who sailed from the North to pillage coastal settlements. They began to relax the Doctrine of Stasis, laws designed to keep people from moving about Malvada and restrict their lives to the villages where they were born.
The Teilarata desired greater control over the growing but disorganized population of the Gar–Arlach Mountains of Tarlan. The Gar–Arlach was also the location of Arlat, the ward of genetics. Communication between the wards was severed, and their history as repositories of the knowledge of the pallbearers had passed into myth and legend.
A young Teilarata valetin named Vladimir von de Veld was selected to travel to the Gar–Arlach and make Arlat his home. At the end of his journey he found a crumbling, uninhabited fortress surrounded by an icy lake with no bridge. Undaunted, he built a raft, hoping to pole his way across the lake. Once he launched he realized that the water was too deep and that he was at the mercy of the ice, wind, and water. Somehow he was blown to the shore of the island at the center of the lake and reached the walls of Arlat.
Walking around his new home, marking the stone with chalk to show the places where it leaked water, Vladimir von de Veld thought he heard music. Trying to find its source, he took a candle and made his way down into the earth through passages that had not been used since the time of the pallbearers. Far below the surface of the lake, where geothermal heat warmed the caverns, Vladimir found a light source to mirror his own. It was a single spot of warm white, and beneath its beam rested a tiny trehalose fern, surviving in a bed of sand, fed by the strange light and a trickling underground stream.