The Legacies of Lyrei, Chapter 13-14

Queen Cécile gets a lady for the oracle. Bill has a paper to write.

Chapter 13.

Neuw Athlin

Queen Cécile looked at the devise, secure in its own room and grinned. Her sister had grabbed the oracle when it had been delivered and spent every moment she could, chatting away with her friends and exchanging things. She didn’t get full use out of the devise and Cécile was waiting for the lady who could. She could hear them approaching. She turned and said “Welcome Count and Countess D’ Creli.”

The count bowed and the countess curtseyed, both looking a bit shocked.

Dúnathron had known that the queen had gone lost child and what she had become, but nothing had prepared her for the reality. She had known that she was going have to face the queen at some point, but the five cities and Donal’s brother being in the capital when the city died had taken Donal from being a village squire, happy with his life to the larger responsibilities of the county. Fortunately, she and Donal had been able to marry at last and the family was complete. Donal said, rather nervously, “Why did you call for us, your majesty?”

“I called on you, first because I want to meet all the counts at some point, especially after the turmoil caused by recent events. I also wanted to prevail on some special skill of your lady.”

“What would they be, your majesty?” the countess asked.

 “This room should be self explanatory.”

Dúnathron laughed. “You want me to take over the loom.”

“The actual name for the things is apparently oracle. My sister has taken it over and spends most of her time talking to her friends.”

“Talking to friends?”

“The other girls running the various oracles. I’m not sure what the boys were thinking when they started to send the things places, but that is what ended up happening. The girls took over and well, they started to communicate through them. Getting anything useful out of them can be more difficult.”

Dúnathron laughed. “I never had other oracles to communicate with. I take it that you want me to teach your sister how to use the devise for other things than talking to her friends.”

“Yes, I want you to teach her that, as well as doing some searches for me and some others. The rest of your family has not stopped their activities and there are things going on. So I need a firm hand on the devise so that we can anticipate the actions of some people.”

“I wasn’t sure what I expected when you called for me, your majesty. I certainly never expected this.”

“I never expected any of what I have now, but here we are. So we will go forward.”

The Mage Academy.

Onvyr grinned as Edlrin sat down across from him in the Academy lounge. “I may have another little trip for you and some of our students in the near future.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m thinking that some of our rowdier students could use a cooling off when the Conclave comes along and a tour in the Republic would be a good thing.”

“I can come up with a list. I think that you want me to start with Saevel, don’t you?”

“Timber can take the Zylvyre seat, and I can’t leave. So, Saevel, Jassim, Divad and their friends can port to Ishendell and go on from there.”

“Divad grew up in the Republic and he’s made his friends curious. They also tend to be the students that have the highest potential.”

“Yes. The list also includes those that we know are keys to mana sources.” Onvyr held up a book. “This was sent to me by the Qinvaris with a note that it was important. I don’t know if all the keys in the book are still active, but we won’t have time to find all the heirs and change the keys that we don’t already know about. Saevel has already changed the Zylvyre key and some others have been changed when the Mana Service complained, so many of the mana sources are locked. The more keys that are not accessible by the Project, the better. I also want you to take some books from the library away as well.”

“The library could be returned to the archives.”

“Most of it will be. My concern is that if the portals are down, the archives will be inaccessible or only accessible from the palace, which may be in the hands of the enemy.”

Edlrin looked at the list. “The divinity devise? We’ve all looked at the book, as students, but I don’t think that any students took it seriously.”

“I think that some did, and started the Mage Wars to create an environment to make it possible to fabricate and operate a devise.”

“You were closer to that than I was.”

“I also had the advantage of my little library. My family had quite a haul over the years from the slaves they took, and they collected a lot of books. My Uncle Melaris burned a lot of them, of course, but as kids we were able to get at the piles and take things we liked. Elf Carran books were sought after when I was a boy. Of course many slaves managed to hold on to things when the slaves were sold in blocks.”

“They weren’t stripped?”

“For blocks of slaves, it was easier to just keep them moving. They were compelled, after all, and it was the final owner’s responsibility in the end. For the high quality slaves, it was a different story.”

“I’ve never heard about the Ravathyra quite that way.”

“I grew up on the inside. There were advantages and disadvantages. For instance, we could not afford friends like Saevel and the others have. That could give my uncles leverage and the other high families were afraid of us. It made for a lonely existence until I came to the academy. That was where I met my wife and my life changed until I was sent to the Retreat. Of course, I had my library and could get yet more books and the tasks there were hardly strenuous as the number of Prospects dwindled. The funny thing is that as the number imported dwindled, the quality of the Prospects increased.”

“Such as?”

“Jorge Tollings. He doesn’t remember coming to the Retreat, but I do. My cousin spotted him early on and maneuvered him onto his ship. That was a good move for my cousin.”

“I will have to ask if the admiral sent the major to the Great Captain.”

“I don’t think that they will answer.”

“So, I take Saevel and the others. Will you evacuate the Academy again during the Conclave like my father did?”

“I think that the students will be evacuated, but I will keep some activities here and I don’t think that the current leaders of the Project will be as stupid or greedy as my father was.”

“That is harsh.”

“It also happens to be true. Of course my father was living with a broken bond after my mother had her accident and the pressures from my uncle, as well as living with the consequences of the Sanctum. I think that the Clear that he used in the end was a mercy.”

“Are you sure that you want send your son and the rest to the Republic?”

“I think that the Fellowship is on to us now and Zirgoccol knows Saevel and his friends all too well. The Republic, on the other hand, will not see them coming.”

“Do you want me to take them to Desert Howl?”

“By all means.”

“That will give these old bones some relief. I accept the task.”

Chapter 14.

Ironton

Bill looked at Jorge as they sat at lunch and said, “I think that I screwed up.”

“Why?”

“I got the same assignment that you did last year. So I went to Paeris and then the mayor and talked with them about the raids. I sent for some stuff from dad and I was hoping that is could use how RDR was used to help capture Paeris. The problem was that Constellation hadn’t gone in for refit and received her RDR yet, so RDR wasn’t involved in Paeris’s capture. The submarines were and I don’t know Commodore Billings or Captain Pinch. They are also at the Hidden City.”

“I wouldn’t get too excited. Just send a message to Captain Duggings and ask for the reports, the same way I did. They know you and I doubt that a clown is going to attempt to reclassify a report.”

“Ok, that will work. I have Paeris’s story anyway and some other things, so I’m probably ok. I was just hoping to show how RDR helped capture Paeris as a way of showing how RDR changed things.”

“You could get more from Beinan’s.”

“I got that from my father already. At least he wasn’t overseas this time.”

“Look, if the professor is going to fail you, you could give the college another library.”

“I’ve reached my limit already.”

Jorge laughed. “There’s Nat. I wonder why he is here.”

Nat walked up and said, “Good, I have you both together. There are two of the devises from the vault here, correct?”

“Yes,” Bill said quietly.

“Including the one that was running before it was shut down and didn’t show signs of failure.”

“Yes.”

“After classes, could you introduce me to the Beinans’ people? I want to start work and get the two devises here running as soon as we can.”

“Do you think that we can?” Jorge said.

“We were able to make the two at the estate work over the winter and they are still running. I’m going to be here for a while, so I want to get the next two running.”

“Who sent you here and didn’t tell me?”

“Your grandfather and he had his reasons. Rilldia and her parents are here as well. Her brother stayed at the estate and her sister is in the Lower City. Your grandfather is expecting that the Project will want the estate and what is there. He’s going to use the two operating fusors as bargaining chips and two more here will demonstrate that not only do we have the two the Project knew about, we have more they didn’t know about.”

“So they will think that we can fabricate the devises.”

“Yes. We’re not there yet, but we have Harald’s files and we can start here.”

“This is an Umevan-Beinan joint Project, I hope,” Bill said. “You were faster than I expected with the devises on the estate. I want to be part of it.”

“Things worked and we had the Sanctuary right next door with an operating devise to look at and play with. That gave us some hints as what changes to make. We also brought a small electric arc furnace up and set it up at the estate and the Beinans built their foundry. So we could fabricate what we needed. We were also rather motivated and do you know how much snow there is at the estate?”

Jorge laughed. “I can see that as a motivator.”

“It was. In any case, we have two operational devises at the estate.”

“What are you going to do with them?”

“When the Project cuts the mana, Stadlee and I built a switch board so that the cities don’t go down entirely.”

“Is he coming down as well?”

“No, he isn’t. Stadlee and the rest of operations people are staying. Naertho did not want the Project people playing with the various things there and making a mess at the estate that would make the place unliveable for decades. So, Stadlee stayed. The families are being moved to the Silverin estate, the Virstina estate, the Timberlands and ironically, the Citadel as the weather warms up.”

Bill and Jorge started to laugh. “How did that happen?”
“Lady Virstina sent her brother, who is from Desert Howl and whose son knows you, Bill, to take over up there. Since the Citadel was abandoned, he took it over and was glad to have some people live there temporarily.”

“I know Greg Shahana and his dad,” Bill said. “His dad worked at Skychasers. Greg was a year behind me. He wanted to explore vaults, but he wasn’t old family and he has been dragged under already. If his dad is taking the Citadel, the Project people are not going to get it back.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Especially when Greg gets up there. Both of them are good with booms and guns. Taking a place away from them is going to be very expensive.”

“Ok, I will see you two after class.”      

Chatsrey.

Tarranth looked at the row of books and said, “They have my library. At least most of it is here. Thank you, Tim, for bringing me here.”

“You aren’t getting off easy. I think that you copied a certain book, didn’t you?”

“Parts of it, yes. Now we just have to find that particular school note book. Let us begin.”

 Brother Rold was walking down the stacks when he heard voices. One of them was the lieutenant. Since he knew that the lieutenant was here alone today, he wondered who the other voice was. Curious, he peeked around the corner to see the ghostly form of a landdragon with the lieutenant as they were going through the Tarranth Qinvaris collection. The landdragon disappeared when the seeming, since that was what it had to be, detected the Brother. The Lieutenant jumped and looked at Brother Rold. Rold said, “I was wondering who you talking to. Would you introduce me to your scaly friend?”

The landdragon reappeared and the Lieutenant said, “Brother Rold, this is Tarranth Qinvaris.”

“His seeming, rather. You must have found it in that vault you opened. That explains why the admiral gave you this assignment.”

“I hope that you will keep my existence a secret,” Tarranth said.

“I will, though I hope that we can set aside some time for a chat. There are so many things that we do not know about right after the Mage Wars came to an end.”

“I will tell you what I can. I was imprinted soon after the war was ending and we realized just how bad things were. There were few that could be imprinted and we felt that it was important to have some that could advise and assist if the dark reemerged.”

“As the scourging of Luggergate has demonstrated that they have. What exactly are you looking for?”

Tim frowned and shrugged, obviously considering what to say. “The admiral has tasked me with finding what I can about the divinity devise.  He wants to know what could happen if it activated and what could happen if is destroyed or fails. He thinks that it will fail, somehow, and that the failure could be very bad.”

“So he set you to the task.”

“Yes. We have just found Tarranth’s notes that he had copied from the book in the Mage Academy.”

“Then we should take the journal to the duplication shop and have the shop make a duplicate. Perhaps you would take luncheon with me while the shop deals with the duplication.”

“You have questions? Tarranth said.

“I do, sir landdragon, I do.”

Móreliante activated Jestina and said, “I have returned. We have work from the client meeting.”

“Is it worthy of your talents?”

“It is. My task is to arrange the downfall of the President in scandal. That will take some effort, but there are so few challenges that I have had of late. So this should be entertaining. Let us begin.”

Swifty looked at the paper and grinned. Doing those jobs at the Harper’s had paid off and he had been able to take advantage of Alinis’s paper, all the other papers, and Harald, to a certain extent. Of course he had sourced what Harald had told him to the Journal and some other sources. He also used pictures and some things from the aerie and the Sanctuary. Harald had told him a lot about the Blights that the Silverin had suffered and his work to ensure that the Sanctuary would be able to continue to support itself even if the Silverin’s mana were cut off. Since he had helped Tad and Durlan with their caper by watching out for and distracting the butler, he had been able to use the Silverin portal and fly up to the Sanctuary and see the librarian about material he wanted to use for his report. All in all, he felt good about his efforts as he handed the report into Mrs. Goldsmith. As he exited the class, Haggas asked, “How did you do?”

“I won’t know until I get it back. I was able to find a lot of things about my topic.”

“What did you choose?”

“The mage wars in the Northern Empire. I used Harald’s journal, things I found at the Sanctuary and some other things, along with some pictures I took and put together a good paper. I could also take advantage of a lot of papers that the Harper kids did when they took the course. So I had it easy.”

Jon looked at Sharog and said, “Here we go again. Shall we start?”

The first few papers went quickly and Sharog started in on Swifty’s paper. She looked through it and said, “You were right, Jon. This is as remarkable in its own way as Alinis’s paper.”

“What did Mr. Cutflame do?”

“First of all, he chose a topic that I would never have assigned, simply because there is so little here in the Republic; the Mage Wars in the northern Empire. He managed to get his hands on Harald’s journal and other sources and then went to the library in a place called the Sanctuary and obtained all sorts of interesting material. Apparently the estate of a House called the Silverin was struck multiple times by the Blight and Harald and the Mage Queen did what they could to help the Silverin, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Here, see for yourself.”

Jon looked at the paper and said, “It reads well as well. There are some errors, but this is remarkable work.” 

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