The Reaches of the Cabal

Sophia submitted her blog post for a contest in years past. She's sharing her thoughts and theories on the Cabal. Although in introduced in arc three, Sophia discusses their involvement in past story lines and past events, as well as where they might go in the future.

The Cabal seems to play quite a role in Arc 3. They were allied with Grandfather Spider in his quest to restore the grandeur of the First World. What we learn, and what comes as a shock in Arc 3 is that Malistaire is the one who gave the Cabal Bartleby's Eye of History. We also learn how those that we trusted had betrayed us in the end. Although the Cabal failed their mission in Arc 3, they will most definitely return in Arc 4, but how much was the Cabal involved in our journey really?

Sylvia’s Death

When we first start our journey in Wizard City in Golem Tower, we run into Malistaire Drake who seems to be a malicious, rogue necromancer. However, as the story progresses, we discover that Malistaire's wife, Sylvia, was plagued by a mysterious illness that caused him to go on a vain search for a way to bring her back to life. As explained by Sylvia’s old friend, Gloria Krendell, the illness came out of nowhere and no one seemed to be able to treat her. Not much is explained afterward except for Malistaire's wrath as he destroyed the Death school and left Ravenwood. Though the source of her mysterious ailment is never fully discussed, there may be a reason to suspect that the Cabal was behind it.

Since the Great Schism in the Arcanum, the Cabal ached for the return of the First World. They knew that the Spiral was doomed and that the only way to survive was to bring back that First World. They knew that Bartleby's Eye of History would aid them in accomplishing such a feat. However, the problem they most likely encountered is that Bartleby is surrounded by Ravenwood and its faculty. In order to get the Eye of History, they would need to sneak in and out of Ravenwood without Merle and the professors finding out. The best way to retrieve the Eye would be to get someone from inside Ravenwood to the job. Since each professor and staff member at Ravenwood was carefully chosen for their role and was well-trusted, the best way to sway someone to steal the Eye would be to make them desperate for something in return. Hence, Malistaire's love for Sylvia comes into play. After Sylvia's death, Malistaire would do anything to get the love of his life back, as we see time and time again. Here, the Cabal is able to provide a way to bring her back only if he agrees to steal the Eye from Bartleby.

Since the Cabal had set this scene up for Malistaire, they are also indirectly linked to our arrival in Wizard City. The reason why we, the Wizard, were found in the first place was to help Merle with the situation at Ravenwood. We were brimming with the potential to aid Merle with the dark threat looming over the Spiral.

The Release of Old Cob

Towards the end of Mirage, we discover that the Cabal infiltrated the Chronomancers of Mirage. This proves that the whole ordeal in Mirage with the Sands of Time was about the Cabal's plan to reverse time to the point of the First World. In order to ensure their plan worked, they needed Grandfather Spider in the picture. The Cabal had clearly been planning this scheme before our arrival in Wizard City given the theft of the Eye. Hence, it is very possible that the Cabal was behind the release of Old Cob. They had fed Taylor Coleridge the info on where a prisoner was being kept that could help defeat Morganthe. If not, the Cabal had definitely been anticipating the arrival of Spider, the known catalyst for their plans.

The Cabal had not been involved in Spider's plans to remove the Sky Anchor in Polaris. They had only joined when their original plan had overlapped with the plans of Spider and the Scorpion. Both parties had wanted to destroy the Spiral for the plague that they decided it was, and return the glory of the First World. Since the Cabal had been exiled from the Arcanum, they had lost access to the Spiral Ark and all the plans they had created. As Ione had stated, the Cabal's plans are hidden safely away behind the locked and electrified Cabal door. When allying with Spider, they had guaranteed that if their plans were to succeed, they would all survive the destruction of the Spiral without the need of the Spiral Ark.

Cabal Spies

At the beginning of Mirage, we're introduced to the Cabal, the rivals of the Arcanum. We also learn that it was the Cabal who had stolen the Eye of History. What was more bone-chilling however, was the Cabal's strength and reach in the farthest corners of the Spiral. We learn that a few people we had trusted since the very beginning, Duncan Grimwater and Gretta DarkKettle, were Cabal spies all along.

Later on, at the beginning of Empyrea when we're sent off to rescue Mellori from the clutches of the Bat, we find out that there was an Arcanum scholar who had gone to Empyrea for news on Mellori. However, as we venture through Zanadu, we discover that Medulla, the Arcanum scholar that had been sent to Empyrea before us, was actually a Cabal spy. It is very possible that others we trusted in our past adventures are also part of the Cabal, maybe someone that we really trust.

The Cabal’s Next Step

It is pretty obvious that we’re not done dealing with the Cabal. Towards the end of Empyrea, Spider abandons his plan to destroy the Spiral and agrees to stay in the Husk with Raven to protect his heart. This officially ends the alliance between the Cabal and Spider since their motives have diverged. Since the Cabal's plans had failed in both Mirage and Empyrea, they're probably looking for new ways to get their ultimate goal completed - the restoration of the First World. It seems likely that we'll enter that Cabal door in the Arcanum at the beginning of the next arc. Since the Cabal is running out of options, in terms of plans to restore the First World and aid in the Spiral's destruction, they would probably target that locked door in the Arcanum for access to the research they had done in the past.

Thanks to Sophia for this post!

Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

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