The Legacies of Lyrei, Chapter 65-66

The sleepers discover some things. Tim and the others find the Luyarus house in Ishendell.

Chapter 65.

The Base.

Dúhael looked at the others and said, “We cannot rely on Bubil Kil and the Dancers. They have been subverted by the family.”

“The family?” Ornthalus asked. “There should be no Silverin able to subvert anyone.”

“The Umevan hid the Silverin high family among the rest of the slaves on the estate,” Mórsairon said. “The Dowager Empress found them to be useful and would not allow a purge. When the estate was restored, so were the Silverin. The current Empress cultivated the family and restored the House.”

Ornthalus turned on Haciathra  and said, “You did not mention this!”

“I didn’t think that it was important.”

‘We have been keeping the Silverin that we took separate and hidden for centuries until we could use their abilities to complete the Project. Unfortunately, the high family had disappeared and the high family can Persuade the others if we let them.”

I wouldn’t be too concerned,” Mórsairon said. “The high family is the old Vintner, his son, who is unmarried and has no children and his daughter, who has two children.”

“We must secure the high family. Are they still at the estate?”

“Stadlee was.”

“Stadlee was a member of the Silverin? He did not seem to be. What about the Vintner?”

“He is at the Conclave, or was.”

“There is nothing we can do about that now,” Haciathra said. “I will retrieve the others.”

“What about the Sisters from the Order?”

“The Order was discovered and disbanded when the Blight was defeated,” Dúhael whispered.

“The other mages hidden in the Mortal Kingdoms?”

“Used up or subverted. The five cities and the rebellion, as well as the Blight forced us to use them and they were discovered and removed.”

“Executed?”

“Not all of them by any means. Many were taken by the Mage Academy and given assignments in the Empire.”

“We can use them, then.”

“I doubt it. The Grand Master is watching them and we have no means of even discovering where they are.”

“We could take the Mage Academy,” Amaris said.

“We tried that,” Blackfire replied. “The Academy had been evacuated and the library and other resources moved elsewhere. That was one reason that we did not attempt a takeover of the palace. The effort would have been a sap of our resources and gained us little.”

“Then why send the Inanimates?”

“As a distraction. If we port in the Inanimates, the enemy knows that we can port in troops. So they have to have resources there to deal with that and the Inanimates cost us little.”

“So how should we proceed?”

Mórsairon pulled out a map of the Empire. “There is good news and bad news. The decline had some effects, so these estates here are more or less the way we would have expected. The lands farmed by the Qinvaris are different, but we can take advantage somewhat of the fact that the Qinvaris are concentrated.”

“Why don’t we start in this area?” Ornthalus asked. “The Houses here have been part of the Project for a long time.”

“As a result of events, the Houses have left the Project. House Nerihorn, House Trahorn, House Palen and House Zlymenor are all hostile to the Project for various reasons and most of the folk there will be immune to compulsions as a result of being recruited for the siege of Ishendell.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“We start here, near Eryding and send the missionaries to the area outside Elysahone.”

“Elysahone was isolated.”

“Not completely and it is a free state inside the Empire. We can take advantage of that and put pressure on the aeries as well.”

“Then we should proceed.”

“I will go to the Community,” Haciathra said. “The Sisters and the Illuminants are ready.”

The Community.

Haciathra emerged from the portal and the Prophet was there to greet her. “Hello mistress. We have a heretic here for you.”

“I will take my meal after I have delivered my message. The time has come to spread the word of the new gods upon the earth.”

“Then our time is blessed as we are the ones to spread the true word. The great task that we were saved to perform is upon us. The Illuminants and the Sisters are ready. Let me take you to the hall.”

The Prophet sent an initiate to ring the huge bell for assembly and then led Haciathra to the assembly hall. The Illuminants and Sisters assembled and the Prophet called out, “The time is at hand! We have been called upon to conduct our great Task. Now we will go into the corrupt and tattered world and spread the news of the new gods. Go and prepare.”

The assembly over, the Prophet escorted Haciathra to the villa where the caravan rider had been transferred after being bathed. Haciathra entered the villa and the doors were closed and locked. For a brief time, screams could be heard.

Chapter 66.

Ishendell
Tim parked the GP, got out and stood in the middle of the ruined square where the siege had ended. Putting Tarranth on the hood of the GP, he activated him. “This is the portal square.”

“What happened here?”

“The square was shelled by heavy gunfire from navy ships offshore and portals were used to send things as well.”

“So the place was hit by heavy artillery and Jorge at the same time?”

“I wouldn’t put it that way. Jorge was actually here at the end of the siege.”

“I would. Ok, the Luyarus townhouse is up that way. I never knew where they had their secure headquarters.”

“Jorge found that. The Ravathyra and Ravahana had struck the headquarters using Jumpers and then used a Scourge devise. Amra left a tablet in the headquarters.”

“I would like to see what my sister said.”

“I will have to arrange that,” Tarranth said. “There are two tablets that she left behind and she was remarkable.”

“What are we looking for?”

“Your sister’s journals and diaries from the time she lived here in Ishendell. We have the tablet from the headquarters and her diary that was left behind at the estate. She was using it to keep a diary at the estate as things came to an end.”

“My sister probably did not make a seeming.”

“One hasn’t been found and things were ugly at the end after the portals went down. Your sister also kept a log on an oracle we discovered.”

“I was in the south, as you know, more or less stuck as you see me now. At least the real “me” was. We were stuck and forced to deal with everything collapsing.”

“Let’s go,” Alinis said. “I want to see where Amra lived.”

“The major will want to know what we found,” Fire said. “At least we can do this now while we can’t be home.”

The four got back in the GP and drove up the ruined avenue. Several of the smaller buildings had collapsed and the taller structures were on the verge of collapse. The seeming said, sadly, “This place was wonderful when it was alive. I’m glad I never saw it after Usanaar used the Scourge devise here.”

“The Republic and the Fellowship have been fighting over this place, but other than the new city, the city has been mostly a tourist destination,” Tim said. “More ships to Milport and the airport have changed that in the last few years.”

Dodging bits and pieces of ruin on the wide ruined avenue, Tim drove along the road, passing ruined buildings and houses. They went deeper into the city as the seeming guided them to the ancient townhouse, which was a tower surrounded by a ruined garden or park with various smaller buildings surrounding it. Tarranth looked at it and said, “This must have been quite a place in its day.”

“It was,” the seeming said, sadly. “The entrance is this way.”

Tim put the seeming in the satchel he carried over his shoulder and they went through the ruined doors.  Carrying hand lights, they poked in through various doors as they walked toward the light that could be seen at the end of the hall. The hall was lit somewhat by broken and glazed over skylights. Bodies were scattered everywhere, the remnants of House Luyarus livery, along with some Qinvaris and others still covering them.

The seeming said, “It was going to be my sister’s fifteenth anniversary. I couldn’t make it and the rest of my family were late. That saved their lives as the Ravahana and Ravathyra hit the headquarters from the tunnels and then pushed the Scourge devise through a portal. The Beinans wanted to modify the portals so that Scourge devises couldn’t be ported, but the Portal Service at the time said that it was too risky. They learned the hard way what the real risk was.”

Bodies in suits appeared and the seeming continued, “The Ravahana sent their enhanced in looking for the Luyarus ring so that they could take over the Portal Service. My brother in law had the ring and was below in the headquarters with my sister when things went off. Their kids were at the estate in the Empire and were going to port here. My brother in law was injured slightly in the battle for the Portal Service control room and never really recovered. I stayed in the south with my affliction and my sister eventually returned to the House.”

“We found her diary,” Tarranth said. “We had my uncle transcribe it and passed it around at the Conclave.”

They entered into the light and stood in a huge space that had skylights surrounding a round floor that was obviously set up for a banquet. The remains of the food could be seen on the large tables, those that hadn’t collapsed. They walked around the space until Tim said, “It’s time for lunch. We can come back later.”

“We can get some people and clear the bodies,” Alinis said. “Let’s go.”

They returned to the GP and the beach house, where Admiral Tollings was waiting with another man. “Tim, this is Derry Gilders. He will be your gofer in the Empire, since he has been assigned to my office.”

“Are the portals working again, admiral?” Tarranth asked.

“Limited use on some portals. The Portal Service can’t draw a lot of mana and they don’t want the other side to find the drain and cut it. They haven’t been able to attach to the source on the Umevan estate because Naertho is playing games with the other side, since they are occupying the estate at present.”

“What do you want from me, admiral?” Tim asked.

“I want to go over what you have so far, and what can be done in the Empire. There are some things going on in the Republic that are more than a bit troublesome, but the Empire is probably where the other side will focus their efforts, at least at first.”

“Do you think that they will come here?” Tarranth asked. “They must have used General Headbasher for a reason.”

“I’m not sure, because right now, I don’t know how they plan to conduct what they are doing. I would go through those materials you obtained from the castle.”

“How did you know about that?”

“Sarya told me about your father’s little scheme. Since her people were involved, she knew most of it. Tim here can help you with that. I’m also having a report that Derry did for a class sent up.”

“Why?”

“The report was the strangest murders and crimes in the history of the Republic,” Derry said. “I thought it we just nonsense when I wrote it, but then the spiders showed up. I can’t go back to the Republic without attracting attention right now, but we can get the report here and look for similar things.”

“The Hunter killed my mother’s parents,” Tarranth said. “He also did things in the Republic. Was he in the paper?”

“Among others, yes. There were some that seemed to have had connections that were not clear. Once I started to look, the patterns kept showing up, with long intervals between them in most of the cases.”

“Let’s go into lunch before the cook gets angry,” Tim said.

Fayspire.

 Guillas grinned as Wyrran came into his office. “You are a few days later than I expected.”

“We were trying to get at least a little portal service reestablished.”

“Not the portal here.”

“No, the portal here wasn’t on the list. We didn’t want to draw a lot of mana until the suppressors were shut down.”

“That’s going to be a problem. They are all synchronized and at full power. They also have ten suppressors operating.”

“Where are they?”

“Five are in more or less the same places that they were the last time. The other five are near Zirgoccol, in the Orcenlands and the Mortal Kingdoms.”

“What is the impact so far?”

“Not anything significant. For one thing, there hasn’t been a bunch of mages waving darkmage pendants around and second, a lot of people are more or less immune as a result of the last time. On the other hand, we can’t get everyone. We did get something from Desert Howl. Wearing a metal screen blanks the compulsions. We have been grabbing every strainer we can, removing the handles and making helmets out of them.”

“That explains why people were wearing strange hats. What about the suppressors in Zirgoccol and the Empty Lands?”

“We visited both of them and we couldn’t shut down either of them individually. We would have to shut all of them down and that may not even work if they have a master suppressor someplace to control the rest.”

“The problem is that they have the mana control board. That is they have the one in Semmont.”

“What about the main board?”

“Destroyed by a suicide bomber. That was part of their first assault.”

 “Are the cities without power?”

“The cities are being more or less supplied from the Umevan estate’s power plants.”

“Ok, let me give you a detailed brief and maybe we can come up with some solutions. Feno and Cornaith are working on this down in Desert Howl. They came up with the strainers.”

Wyrran laughed. “They want us to look like fools.”

“Probably. On the other hand, the strainers work.”

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