The Trials of Slaves, Chapter 15-16

Jorge arranges a presentation. The Church comes to Jomney with a proposal.

Chapter 15.

University of Ironton, Ironton.

Jorge took the podium and said, “I am Jorge Umevan. I inherited a wine business with the rest of my estate in the Empire. In class recently and since my wine merchant, Goren Omayarus was coming here to the Republic for his honeymoon and some business, I asked him to come and speak to my history class about the Mortal kingdoms, since he has spent the last thirty years or so traversing the kingdoms and seeing the people and the countries. He agreed and no, we are not offering Fallingwater wine samples, so don’t ask. Goren, would you start?”
Goren did, going over each country and most of the towns as Tad provide maps and pictures of the various places. Goren ended with, “There have been a lot of changes recently, thanks to the mellowing of the church on their stance on mage abilities. That change was forced by circumstances, especially in Dolmon where the practice had been to slay the mage potential children. That policy caused problems about twenty five years ago when the church at the time had Beinans in the Fellowship make a potential scanner because the church had been accused of favoritism where certain families were involved. The problem was that many families had exiles or elf blood in the family or had fae in the family and did not know. The scanners hit like a shock and the problems starting with the commons and then the nobility became bad, very quickly. Dolmon had a crisis that was mitigated by some brave mages placing aversions on high potential children, the church passing many scans, saying that the scanners had broken and running two scans, and finally arranging a deal with the neighboring fae kingdoms where the fae would take the children for adoption or send them to the Fellowship. That eased the problems somewhat, especially when folk took matters into their own hands when they could.”

Goren took questions and when it was over, Professor Xilynore said, “Term papers are due, no exceptions. He looked at Jorge and said, I don’t see a paper from you, Mr. Umevan. Why not? I know that you worked on it.”
Jorge held up a receipt and handed it to the professor. “Congress stole my term paper.”
Xilynore looked at the receipt and said, “You have done it again, Mr. Umevan. I will have to make an exception for term papers entered as evidence into the Congressional Record. How did that happen?”
“A friend, Major Tollings, was testifying before Congress recently and I loaned him the paper because he was probably going to need statistics on Paeris’s raids. I thought he would have duplication make a copy, but apparently he didn’t have time, used the paper and away it went. I can rebuild the paper in a five day or so, but the original is going to the archives, apparently.”

“I think that having a term paper used in testimony before Congress rates as top grade in any case. We will let it pass. You can get the paper when it appears in the Congressional record in a moon or so.”

As they left the hall, Conrad said, “That was a surprise.”
“That was the first time that anyone used congress as an excuse, and he had the receipt to prove it. He also had Elf Omayarus come and give that wonderful overview of the Mortal Kingdoms. If the paper had been entered into the record, the paper had been finished and I don’t need to read yet another first year paper.”

Conrad started to laugh. “You make a very good point.”

“Coach also said that Jorge had given him a nice gift and that cutting Jorge a bit of slack would be a good thing for the bladderball team.”

“What did Jorge do?”

“I’m not sure of the details, but Jorge attended a ceremony at the naval academy that involved some friends of his and took Frank and Tolly with him. The academy bladderball team was having a practice after the ceremony.”
“What was the ceremony?”

“That was the interesting part. Two first year marine cadets were being awarded the Imperial Star and the Order of The Sword. Their commander, Major Tollings, received the same awards at the ceremony.”

“That sounds interesting all on its own. We must see if we can get Frank and Tolly to tell us what went on.” 

Chapter 16.

Neuw Athlin

Archbishop Goodenouth looked at the bishops beside him and sighed. They looked ill suited to deal with a landdragon that had quickly gained a no nonsense reputation. They were though, the tools that the gods had given him to reestablish the Church here in Vestia, after the country had been shattered and then battered by rebellion, where members of the Church had participated. The first step would be the construction of a new cathedral here in the new capital. The problem was that while the city registration would allow single lots for churches, acquiring the space for a monastery and cathedral near the new city center had been met with resistance. So the pontiff had sent the archbishop to resolve the matter and the Landdragon queen had sent the archbishop to her landdragon city builder and his small office under the water tower.

Slogging across the mud and dodging busy folk going to and fro, the archbishop entered the space, where the landdragon was arguing with an elf and seeming dwarf.

“Father, we don’t have the time to build a library now, let alone a university.”

“Jomney, we are not asking you to. Strom just needs a repository for the books removed from Altensee and Athlin.”

“Why here?”

“I want to have a central space where I can put the books while they are being copied and the copies returned to their owners,” the dwarf said. “Since the books are radioactive, they will have to be kept secure, but the country may need the books.”
“How did you get involved, Mr. Ironshield?”
“I was involved because I was already doing similar things for other libraries in the Empire. The Imperial Archives and the Sanctuary library, as well as university libraries in the Fellowship and Republic are providing resources. I was recruited by Mrs. Harper.”

The landdragon looked at the archbishop and said, “It looks as if the Church brought the pro team.” He pointed to a space on the map. “This area hasn’t been allocated. The lines for water and sewer are near enough that you can pay to finish them. Archbishop, this is my father, Sihnion Themaer and Strom Ironshield. Since you all want to make arrangements for large fancy buildings that I do not have time for, why don’t you all get together and create a proposal.”

Goodenouth looked at the landdragon and said, “I was hoping to bring my proposals directly to you, sir landdragon.”

“Archbishop, so were my father and his friends. Both of you will want similar things and have similar needs. I could deal with both proposals, but it will save time all around if you could get together and put something together that I can take to Parliament and the queen. My father has seen the plans for the city and is an expert in construction. He can tell you, and your people what is available here, and Mr. Ironshield can aid in the retrieval of the Church’s libraries from the Scourged cities and, as you heard, make arrangements for their safety until the radiation decays. Frankly, dealing with my father will be easier than dealing with me.”

 Goodenouth smiled, turned to the father next to him and said, “Father D’artan, go with these folk and see what you all can do.”

The father and the others left with Ironshield and Themaer as Goodenouth turned to the landdragon. “That was very shrewd. I had expected some recalcitrance from you.”

“Archbishop, what the Church wants was not unreasonable. You need a place to teach the new priests that you need to replace those that have been lost. The Church is hardly the only one that needs a school. Also, the books need to be secured and controlled until the radiation decays. That includes the Church library in Altensee, which was second only to the library in Astia. As you saw, some others also want the libraries retrieved.”

“Who is that?”
“You would have to ask Mr. Ironshield.”

“You are correct about the library. Thank you for making what I thought would be a difficult task easy to complete.”

“I could have told my father no, as well as the Church. Then, I would be deep into squabbles and people attempting to pull strings. This way my father is out of my scales, the books are dealt with before there is a convenient fire, and the rebuilding continues.”
“Will you contribute?”

“I am just a slave. If you are asking for contributions, ask my wife. As for other resources, my father can handle those.”

“I will take my leave then, sir landdragon.”  

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