How is it that a lesser Teilarata valetin, young Vladimir von de Veld, was given the “keys” to Arlat, the first ward of the pallbearers? When Arlat began to awaken, why did Vladimir von de Veld, in the service of a government that denied the wisdom of the pallbearers and wished to keep it away from humanity, choose to communicate with her and begin to use her services?
Vladimir von de Veld was sent alone to Arlat, high in the lonely Gar–Arlach Mountains. The first ward of the pallbearers had long been locked away from humanity. A dam was built, turning the basin around Arlat into Lake Malcherest, an expanse of freezing water that was dangerous to cross. At that point there was no bridge and no overland gate, and the wards of the pallbearers were little more than legend in the minds of Malvada’s people. Travel to them was discouraged and dangerous. Vladimir von de Veld was sent to administer what was considered an unimportant post because of his youth and inexperience.
Vladimir was alone in winter and lonely. When he discovered the room of light, it was dim, and there was only one trehalose fern. However, it was another living thing, and the light was warm. He cultivated it. As Arlat awakened, Vladimir’s longing for company overwhelmed his belief that the wards were bad. When he began to communicate with Arlat and discover her knowledge, he realized that he could use her abilities to modify the genetic makeup of human beings in order to create an army of unkillable soldiers, the scaalites.
Vladimir von de Veld began to invite the people in the surrounding villages to Arlat. From them he chose the ones he wanted to lie on the suicide table, the strongest fighters and the cruelest criminals. As his army and his desire for power grew, he hatched his plan to invite the Narze to attack the Teilarata at Tarla-by-the-Sea, so that he could demonstrate the might of his army. The plan worked, and Vladimir von de Veld became the vallain of Arlat and the leader of the Teilarata. Then he began to search for the champion who would help him defeat the Ars Memoriae, control all four wards, and rule all of Malvada.
So it was Vladimir von de Veld’s desire for power and prestige, and his loneliness, that led him to open Arlat and build overland gate. His actions caused the awakening of the wards, the coming of the champion, and the war between the champion and the Teilarata. In his quest for power he cast aside his fear of ideas and used the forbidden knowledge of the wards to advance his position in the Teilarata.
At the time of his death, Vladimir von de Veld was the highest ranking vallain in the Teilarata. It was his breaking of their strict laws that allowed the Teilarata to become more moderate, grow rich from trade, and become the most powerful state in Malvada.