The Return of The Silverin, Chapter 21-22

Llag encounters a street gang. Some arrangements are made for a visit to Bubil Kil

Chapter 21.

The Lower City.

Walking down the street from the portal toward the house, Llag could sense that somebody was probably following him. He was wearing a coat over his adjunct’s tunic and probably looked as if he was yet another workman in the polyglot mixture of the Lower City.  He wasn’t sure who the leaders of the local kids’ gangs were, since Jorge was off to college and most of the other leaders had been grabbed by the Portal Service and the Beinans. He was musing about that when his own son stepped out and said, “Old man, someone wants to talk to you.”

Llag grinned and said, “Are you sure that you boys are up to this?”

“Just make it easy on yourself, old man,” Dugal said with a grin.

“Ok, who wants to talk to me?”
“We’ll tell you, Orc! Where’s your collar, anyway? You can get in a lot of trouble not having one.”

“I am not a slave.”

“In any case, make it easy on yourself, Orc!  Just come along.”

Pushing Llag alone, the street boys took him to a little stand where an elf wearing a House Petris tunic was sipping caffee. The elf waved at the boys and said, “You may go. Would you like a caffee, Justiciar? This stand has a rather interesting blend.”

Dugal and the others disappeared.

“I think that I will, milord. I am not a Justiciar.”

“You are adequate for my purposes. I want something investigated. There may be illegal or heretical things going on there.”
“What do want investigated?”

“A shop has opened selling weapons that transmute from other objects. That may be heretical and the weapons themselves, illegal.”

“Such things have been around for a very long time, milord. That sounds more like a job for an Inquisitor.”
“The Inquisition has bigger concerns than some elf slicers, apparently.”

“Who is operating the shop?”
“I have seen two slaves there. They do not wear House tunics.”

“Why drag me into this? Why not go to the guards?”

“I wish to keep my House out of this and avoid a conflict. On the other hand, the elf slicers could be a problem for the guard and House guards. They are tools of assassination.”

Llag sighed. “Very well, milord. I will look into this.”

“Thank you.”

Haladaver finished his caffee and left. Dugal returned and Llag said, “Since when are you running a gang?”
“Since you up and left for Bubil Kil. Grandfather wanted something that wasn’t directly connected to Eddie and the others and we needed somebody for people like Lord Caigolor to hire.”

“You also want to make a bit of trouble for your mother.”

“I won’t say anything about you forgetting your collar again if you don’t say anything to mom about this. She wants me in the university after I leave the school.”

“So do I. On the other hand, we do need to keep an eye on some folk. Just don’t make Alen miserable. ”

“No way. I need to go. I want to talk to Charlie and Ayen about the fact that people are poking into their business.”

Dugal disappeared and Llag grinned. Finishing his caffee, he went on his way. The blend was actually very good.

Eryding

Bladloc looked at the letter and sighed. Picking it up and the book that had been sent with it, he went looking for his grandfather. When he walked into Greldug’s office, his grandfather looked at him and said, “Your advisor is sticking to his guns?”

“Yes. At this point, the only people I haven’t talked to about this are the admiral and Paeris. I have all the logs and journals, talked to all the living great captains and they all say that the Ravathyra were not responsible for the three raids in question.”

“It’s down to three?”
“Yes. The others were all exposed as frauds by other people.”

“Maybe you are looking at things the wrong way.”
“What do you mean?”

“Maybe the raids did happen.”

“The Ravathyra didn’t assault the three towns.”

“The marines used Ravathyra ships that the navy had captured to assault the Hidden City. Suppose that somebody else did the same thing.”
“Using the Ravathyra as cover?”

“Yes. If we saw ships that looked like Ravathyra ships, we didn’t think to look for somebody else.”

“Who?”
“That is an interesting question. Exactly the sort of question that I came up here to look into.”

“I think that the boys and I have more work to do.”

“Yes you do. Start by talking to the Shannelis and pulling their logs as well. They may have seen the strange ships and not known it.”

“Where do you think that their base was?”
“That is another interesting question. Fortunately, we can look for answers.”

Bladloc picked up the book. “I can start to look here.”

“Don’t hesitate to use navy resources. For that matter, we have relatives in the Republic that have been left out of things. Get them looking into this.”

“I will. I will also send another letter to old Professor Tennial saying that I am pursuing the raids. If nothing shows up, I can at least say that I looked, and if something does, I can say that his being stubborn forced me to look deeper.”

“Looking deeper is what we need to do now.”  

Chapter 22.

Zirgoccol.

Iolena grinned as she opened the door and her sister was in the doorway. “Alissa, what brings you here?! Is Gander here as well?”

“Gander is here, talking shop. You can guess with who he is talking to.”

“Yes I can. Come in and let’s talk.”

“As to why I’m here, mother wants you to come up and make the plans for your wedding. She also wants to go and talk to Spitty’s parents as soon as possible.”

“That makes sense. Getting time away may be difficult.”

“Another matter is that mother and some other ladies want to talk to you and Spitty about the folk in Bubil Kil, preferably discreetly.”

“What about? We were not actually there.”

“The Haven. The family wants you and Spitty to go to Bubil Kil and speak with the people there.”
“Why us?”
“Because you have no obvious connection to the rest of the family and don’t live in the Empire. There are eyes on the family and the family doesn’t want the fact that we know about the Haven to be obvious.”

“Uncle could deal with that if you had watchers in the Empire. For that matter, your husband could deal with it.”

“Yes he could. That would expose some things and we don’t want those things exposed at present.”

“Spitty’s uncle will get upset if we just up and go someplace without telling him, especially for something involving the guild.”

“This doesn’t involve the guild. At least it doesn’t at present. This shouldn’t involve any Dances. This is our larger family.”

“Larger family?”

“Mother will explain when when you and Spitty come up.”

“Since you are here, tell me what’s going on with your kids.”

Alissa smiled. “That is one reason that mother wants your wedding squared away. Myrdin and Sarya both have intentions.”

“Aren’t they rather young?”

“Yes, they are. But I doubt that they want to wait very long.”

Qambois grinned as Vafealine sent Orick and Gander into his office. “I found these two disreputables outside.”

“Did you really? Welcome, Justiciar. What brings you here?”
“My wife and Ayre Eiljeon. Since Mr. Eiljeon will not talk to anyone, let alone me, seeing him was unproductive. I did tell him that he was facing extradition to Vestia.”

“What about the others?”
“That’s a bit trickier, as it involves clan politics in the Orcenlands, getting a writ in the Empire and the banker protection laws on client confidentiality in the dwarvenlands. The queen doesn’t need any of their testimony for the case against Dúhael. Still, I want to get what I can.”

“Do you think that the others will make an attempt to rescue Dúhael?”

“I expect that they will. Jomney’s little set up was clever, but we are being a bit sloppy.”

‘You are baiting them.”
“Not me. Duc Geral is. Dúhael, by himself, isn’t that important, other than as a focus for Vestia’s and Apua’s anger. On the other hand, securing the Scourge devises is. So if we lose Dúhael and find the devises, that’s a win for us.”

“Have you found anything more about why those five cities were struck?”

“Now that is an interesting question. I have some clues, because Athlin, Altensee and Vesticour were all ancient Imperial towns with good mana when the schism happened. The mystery is the other two.”

“Clerves was probably struck because of the port.”
“You would think so, but the portal there that the devise was sent through was there almost from the day the city was founded. In fact, the temple predates the city. The same with Semmont. On the other hand, there are similar places throughout the Mortal Kingdoms that were not targeted.”

“They have Scourge suppressors.”
“They were only distributed recently and discreetly. I’m not sure when Dúhael found out about them.”

“Why is your wife here? You are both invited to dinner this evening, by the way.”

“My wife is discussing having her sister come up for some family matters.”
“Spitty’s mother will want to be involved.”

“That is one thing that she is arranging. My mother in law also wants Iolena to come to a meeting that the family has been having.”
“Guild matters?”
“Not at all, but I can’t talk about it.”
“Why not?”
“My grandmother showed up.”
“Sarya would not mind you discussing things with me.”

“My dad’s mother. She can be as bad as my other grandmother, but is usually far more subtle and isn’t known as the Republic’s spymistress.”

“She sounds interesting.”

“Not if she shows up in the Empire with her friend, Jorge’s grandmother.”

“Jorge’s grandmother? Mrs. Umevan wouldn’t be that big a surprise.”

“Jorge’s mother’s parents. Shael arranged for Jorge’s grandmother to come up to the Empire on an Umevan company plane and she brought her friend, my grandmother with her.”

“Where are they now?”
“They took our younger two up to the estate to learn to ski with Jorge’s brother and sister.”

“That sounds like fun.”

“It gets grandmother out of my hair.”

“Why did you fight that young man in single combat?”

Gander sighed. “That was a mistake. I was rather annoyed and the idiot deserved what he got. What I didn’t know at the time was that Dúhael and his friends had put a price on my head.”

“I can loan you Spitty and Iolena to chase that down.”

“My wife wants them for something else.”

“What?”
“It involves Bubil Kil.”

“That mysterious place in the Orcenlands.”

“Yes. I sent somebody there, chasing Dúhael. He found some family and my wife and some others want to see what we can do for them.”

“You are being rather vague.”

“You can get the rest from my grandmother. She sent the people to retrieve Dúhael. I have other things on my plate.”

“Do you see them using more Scourge devises?”
“That is an interesting question. I think that Mórsairon and the others know that most places are protected by Scourge supressors at this point, but I haven’t found out why they chose the targets that they chose.”

“You have done a great deal to clear up many mysteries that have plagued us for a very long time.”

“I know. What bothers me is that the deeper we dig, the more we discover.”

“I understand that Sarya is upset with Director Sunbeam.”

“I sent some people to help down there, but that sums it up. Not least of which is that the Director is wasting resources chasing Jorge when the Stewards have been lighting off Primaries.”

“Apparently the Director is attempting to improve his relationship with the people responsible for his budget.” Orick said. “At least that is what I’m getting from our local FSA types at the Embassy. They aren’t happy about that.”

“Maybe we should drop in and chat,” Gander said. “I have Jorge stories. Of course they are all from the Lower City, but he did start there.”

“I don’t have a problem with loaning Spitty to you, Gander,” Qambois said. “His mother will want to be discussing certain things with Iolena’s mother in any case. As for Bubil Kil, Spitty would be a good one to send in any case. Perhaps he can do something that forces him out of the city for a while.”

“I shouldn’t ask, but what are you thinking?”
“The Stewards have an office here and they have not attracted my attention until now. Perhaps the office should be robbed.”

“I didn’t hear that,” Orick said. “On the other hand, it will be my case, I suspect.”
“It may be, Orick. In any case, the Stewards deserve our attention.”

  “I won’t complain,” Gander said. “How did the election mess end up?”

“In a mess,” Qambois said. “The Senate essentially decided to not penalize the losers, since they lost anyway, and except for requiring that all radioactive coin be turned over, didn’t change anything. If it had been Richard playing games, we could have gotten a different vote, but with Dúhael, there was a remarkable lack of concern.”

“You can tell the Senators that next time, it will be Richard playing if they don’t clamp down.”

“Would he?”
“That last Senate campaign attracted his attention and the various candidates were using him as a boogeyman. They were also threatening to make off with his people and damage his business. If there is anything that attracts Richard’s attention, that will do it. If I were the Senate, I would want to make sure that they handled things so that they didn’t poke Richard like that if they want to keep him out of Fellowship politics.”

“I will mention that to the Consul.”

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