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What were my reasons? What are yours? Why do you do this? Why?

–Carlot dan Eider to Glokta, Before They Are Hanged

Carlot dan Eider, known as the Queen of Merchants, is the Magister of the Guild of Spicers, and one of the most powerful merchants in The Union. She is also a member of the ruling council of Dagoska. She later appears in Best Served Cold in Styria, and Red Country in Far Country.

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

Carlot is a very beautiful, graceful, and seductive woman, with a comely smiles and perfect teeth. She’s fond of lavish jewels, and Kantic perfume and dress; long shimmering silk gowns in vivid colours[1].

She is highly intelligent, and a skilled merchant and diplomat, who has made herself a power in her world, despite the male dominated society. She tries to restrain the worst excesses of The Union's oppression of the native Dagoskans. Eider is sexy and she knows it, and more than willing to dip into Femme Fatale when necessary. With every appearance after the trilogy, she seems to compromises her principles more and more.

HistoryEdit

At the age of twenty-two, she was compelled to marry the sixty year old Magister of the Spicers, to pay for her father's debt. Little by little, as her husband's health declined, she took a more and more active role in the Guild. By the time of his death, she was effectively Magister, and the Spicers were sensible enough to formalise the arrangement[2].

The Spicers were in Dagoska when the city was free, even before the First Gurkish War, some nine years before the series. They made fortunes, but it chafed them to pay taxes to the natives. When The Union won the war against the Gurkish, her late husband encouraged The Union to annex Dagoska into the realm. The Spicers now virtually run the city, with their Magister having a seat in the ruling council of Lord Governor Sand dan Vurms.

When Eider assumed the role of Magister, she tries to restrain the worst excesses The Union's orgy of greed, incompetence, and oppression of the natives. However, the Spicers are now almost bankrupt, spending massive sums on the walls and mercenaries.

Before They Are Hanged Edit

As head of the Guild of Spicers, Carlot dan Eider has a seat on Dagoska's ruling council. When Superior Glokta arrives in the city with the letter from the Closed Council granting him full powers, she freely accepts his authority[1]. In fact, she seems openly supportive of Glokta’s efforts to keep the Gurkish out, giving him money for the defences (though not much), and even her own jewelery[3].

The Gurkish ambassador, Shabbed al Islik Burai, is later tortured into confessing to Glokta that Eider is one of the Union's traitors, and the mastermind behind a plan to hand Dagoska over to the Gurkish[4]. Glokta confronts the city council, by dumping a cloth bag in front of them containing the ambassador’s severed head. Vurms recognizes immediately that Glokta knows he's a traitor and panics. However, Eider calmly informs Glokta that Nicomo Cosca’s mercenaries have opened the gates, and the city is already in Gurkish hands. It is then that Glokta breaks the bad news; Cosca has switched sides thanks to Glokta’s newfound wealth[5].

Eider is then arrested, questioned, and signs her confession[6]. When asked why she did it, she explains that the Guild of Spicers are nearly bankrupt anyway. Realising that defeat to the Emperor was inevitable, she approached her contacts in Gurkhul and agreed to help hand over the city without bloodshed. She offered the Governor’s son Korsten dan Vurms money to forge his father’s signature on orders to open the gates. When Davoust discovered their plot, she informed the Gurkish of the problem, and he disappeared the next day[6].

Glokta, moved by Eider's noble motives, stops Practical Vitari from killing her, and secretly arranges a boat for her to flee to Westport, all the while letting the Arch Lector believe she is dead.[7]

Last Argument of KingsEdit

Disregarding Glokta's orders never to return to The Union, Carlot dan Eider finds her way back to Adua. She has the cripple kidnapped in order to repay her debt to him, by warning him that the Gurkish are on their way to Midderland with their secret fleet. Eider also informs him that should she be killed, a friend of hers will send a letter to the Arch Lector explaining exactly how she survived Dagoska[8].

After the Battle of Adua, the new Arch Lector Glokta has Eider brought to him. As Eider begs for mercy, the Arch Lector proposes a way for her to redeem herself; she must go to Talins and spy on Grand Duke Orso for The Union. To make matters worse, her assets have been seized, and she will have to accept a loan from Valint & Balk.

Best Served ColdEdit

In Styria, Carlot dan Eider has become the lover of Grand Duke Orso's eldest son Prince Ario, while secretly spying for Arch Lector Glokta and The Union. Prince Ario and his brother Count Foscar attend a peace conference in Sipani, organised by King Jezal of The Union between the warring factions in Styria. Ario has Eider arrange a masked ball in the whorehouse Cardotti’s House of Leisure. However, Eider is abducted by Monza Murcatto who is seeking vengeance against Duke Orso for the death of her brother Benna. Monza blackmails Eider, with a slow acting poison, to help her get close to Ario. However, although Ario is killed the night does not go entirely to plan, and Cardotti’s burns to the ground in the ensuing chaos. Afterwards, when Eider demands the antidote, Monza reveals that there was in fact no poison at all.

Carlot dan Eider is forced to flee Sipani, and takes refuge with Grand Duke Rogont of Ospria. Soon, Monza and Caul Shivers also find santuary in Ospria. Eider begins to work on convincing Shivers to kill Monza. Although Shivers is far from stupid, Eider effortlessly senses his mood; his bitterness at the lose of his eye, and his resentment at Monza rejecting him and becoming Rogont's lover. Shivers does betray Monza but fails to kill her, and Eider is forced to flee Styria altogether from the wrath of Arch Lector Glokta.[9]

Red Country Edit

Eider makes yet another appearance in the last episode of the First Law Trilogy, as she seems to be about as persistent at being presumed dead as Captain General Nicomo Cosca and yet turning out well enough. In the novel she plays the Mayor, who is the owner of half of the town of Crease, a mining colonie in the far country and an infamous shit-hole. Her bitter rival is Papa Ring, who supports an annexation of Crease and its surroundings to the Union, whilst Eider works together with the Magus Zacharus and the rebels of the near and far country to annex the area to the old empire.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Questions
  2. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Allies
  3. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, And Next... My Gold
  4. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Until Sunset
  5. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Necessary Evils
  6. 6.0 6.1 Before They Are Hanged, Part I, One for Dinner
  7. Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Scant Mercy
  8. Last Argument of Kings, Part I, Bad Debts
  9. Best Served Cold
  10. Red Country

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