The Return of Redhand, Chapter 31-32

Some cultists are retrieved. Lissia has a new arrival.

Chapter 31

The Wildlands, the Empire

Ruith gave a salute to the prophet and said, “We are off.”

He boarded the Jumper and the Jumper lifted off, followed by ten others.

The Silverin Estate.

The first warning the camp had that they were under attack was the Jumper appearing above the guard post and blasting it with Projector fire. The various cultists and staff ran through the almost empty camp toward the woods until Ruith and the other cultists called out. About half turned around and headed to the Jumpers. The other half and the staff continued to run. Rhalyf grabbed Elashor and said, “We must go!”

“My place is here. You go.”

Rhalyf shook his head and ran to to Ruith. “He’s not coming!”

“Get aboard. We’re leaving!”

The Wildlands, the Empire

The smiling Prophet was there to greet the returning Jumpers and Illuminates. “You have returned and are renewed. We will strike against the apostate and false Silverin. Let us feast and enjoy the Winterfaire.”

Rhalyf found Ruith talking to Redhand and said, “Thank you for getting us out of there.”

Redhand grinned. “There was work for you and we needed you. There are fewer of you than we expected.”

“The others were swayed by comforts and beguiled. The false Silverin have seduced them and filled them with falsehoods. I am afraid that they are lost to us.”

“We have lost some as well,” Ruith said. “Pyria was seduced by the lord of the Carayarus and her brother is lost to us as well.”

The Silverin Estate.

Filia looked at Elashor and asked, “Why did you stay?”

“I go where the new gods need me. If my faith were weak, I would have left. My faith remains and so will I.”

“You have seen the slip of Alinis and your new gods. You have also seen here what they have done.”

“I am not sure that I believe all of it. Land can be rendered infertile just by over planting. That is not unknown.”

“How hard are you willing to work for your new gods?”

“Milady, as hard as it takes. I have given my life to them and that will not change.”

“Come spring, you will regret that.”

The Netherspace

The Netherspace was a place outside time and space. Both vast and infitesmal it touched everything in the universe yet nothing in the universe could touch the Netherspace. No order could be imposed on the Netherspace for very longs and yet the chaos was not completely random. Energies and matter came and went in a matter of nanothousandths. Even the most sophisticated instruments conceived in the static universe could not grasp the Netherspace and the constantly changing chaos.

Even chaos has rules and there were beings in the Netherspace that followed those rules. The beings moved through the Netherspace, not interacting with the universe unless forced to. For the most part, the gods performed their roles without interacting with the universe very much at all. There were some things that would change that. Potentially creating new gods was one thing that could not be ignored. The activation of the Divinity Energizer had attracted the attention of some of those beings.

A room formed out of the chaos, followed by a circular table and seven chairs. Seven beings filled the chairs and the meeting of the gods started. A window to the universe opened, looking at a volcano surrounded by dead places in a jungle. The gathering energies of the devise could be sensed by the gods as the devise continued to perform the steps for the transition to ascension. Amus, the god of the land, looked at the thing and said, “I wanted to bring this to your attention. Some folk are attempting ascension.”

“That has not happened in thousands of years, brother,” asked Brohulla, goddess of spirits. “Who is attempting this?”

“The same bunch that started five centuries ago,” Atis, god of souls said. “They have kept me rather busy of late, since they are rather dark.”

“They make war?” Rhenthos, god of victory, asked.

“Not your kind of war, cousin. They use methods that are unnecessarily destructive and use things like famine to forward their efforts.”

“They sound very dark indeed,” Ayja, the goddess of life said. “I for one could not tolerate folk like that. How likely are they to succeed, Amus?”

“That is hard to say. They have been twisting the land with their blight and collecting allies for a very long time. On the other hand, some great souls have emerged to fight them. Atis, are the souls of Harald and Lyrei still in your care?”

“They are. I take it that you want them here?”

“If you would?”

Two glowing figures appeared. “You have called us, milord’s?” the dwarf asked.

“We have. We wish to discuss some things in the world. You have seemings, do you not?”

“We do. They have not been activated. At least they have not merged with us. They still must have time on their clocks. Centuries have passed. Our children have lived their lives and our descendents have forgotten us.”

“Perhaps not,” Amus said. “Try to link again.”

“Now that is interesting,” Lyrei said. “Apparently the legacy was only opened a short time ago. One of Harper’s great great grandsons married Lady Qinvaris and they had four children. My Seeming was activated by a remarkable young girl and her father is even more remarkable.”

Harald was laughing and the gods and goddesses looked at him with rather stiff expressions. He stopped laughing and said, “See for yourselves.”

A thread of Netherspace touched them all and they laughed as well. “Another remarkable young man.” Tosyn, goddess of the oceans said. “Even if he is abandoning the ocean for the fae. I think that you would like the young man, Zaxdon.”

 Zaxdon, god of commerce and finance grinned. “I do, I do. He has the touch and inspires others.”

“The girl is interesting as well,” Brohulla said. “She found a fae prince to attach herself to. Of course she gathers friends and fun as well.”

“Do the seemings have any knowledge of why some folk have not come to me?” Atis asked.

“Apparently they slept in stasis cases while their children committed terrible acts,” Harald said. “Our seemings have connected with others and the so called Project has left a path of terror and destruction across centuries.”

“We are getting off track,” Amus said. “Harald, Lyrei, do you think that the Ravahana and their allies will succeed?”

“The devise is activated and they have one of my devises, in spite of my efforts to prevent that,” Harald said. “From a physics standpoint they may.”

“On the other hand, they have done little to engender support or belief in them,” Lyrei said. “My family had the talent for making our friends our enemies and that does not seem to have changed. My children and their descendents have been able to thwart them, at great cost, but many of the problems my family have are self inflicted.”

“Thank you both. You may return to your rest.”

As they started to dissolve and return to the netherspace, Lyrei and Harald joined. Harald said, “Should we drop some things into our crystal selves?”
Lyrei giggled. “Yes, let’s do that.”

Chapter 32


Lissia groaned, twisted in pain and said to Willia, “I think that it is time.”

“I will get the car, milady. I think that you are right. I wish that the major was here.”

“He is where he is needed. I know that he would like to be here as well. But we both knew that a time like this would come. The only thing I know is that he will return to us when he can.”

“I am sure of that. The Great Captain relied on the major to get him out scrapes and they did. Let me get the car.”

Several twentieths later, Lissia held her new baby girl in her arms and said, “I think that she will be Lyrei.”

Willia smiled. “Another name to be great with. I need to take care of Lyari.”

The Umevan Estate

Nat waited anxiously as Rilldia screamed and howled through the last stages of labor until suddenly there was a baby’s cry. Rilldia’s mother came out, holding the baby. “It’s a boy. You can take him into Rilldia now. The midwife should be finishing up.”

Nat held the miracle in his hands and thought that the little thing was the best thing that he had ever had a hand in. He went into where his wife was resting and placed the boy into her arms. “What should we name him?”

“I think that we should name him Naertho.”

“Are you sure that you want to burden him with that?”

“Yes. Now Naertho and I need our rest, so you find something else to keep yourself occupied. Don’t forget to eat. Mother said that father did.”

“I think that there is more to being a parent than I realized.”

“We will survive.”

Tad looked at the cabinet in its place alongside the new cabinet he had arranged for his files, turned to Py and his father and said, “How did this get here?”

“The cabinet was found at the Base,” Py said. “Apparently it was brought out before the Project started the Divinity Energizer. I saw the cabinet at the base when I went to collect Nat, arranged to have it ported to the Silverin Estate and trucked here.”

“Thank you very much. I have been annoyed that I didn’t have my files and thought that I would never see them again.”

“I knew that and so, when I saw them, I made sure that they were returned. Of course both our families benefit when you can work at your best, so this isn’t just a Winterfaire present.”

The Carayarus Estate

“Where is your sister?”

Hibiscus looked at her mother and said, “I don’t know, mother. Why are you looking for her?”

“She hasn’t been in the kingdom all day and she doesn’t seem to be here. Nor is she in her usual places.”

“Let’s see what Pyria says.”

Hibiscus’s mother suddenly had a rather nervous expression. “I’m not sure that this is the time for that.”

“Mother you are here, so this is the perfect time. So you will come with me.”

Pyria was finishing getting the various folk started on the tasks of the day when Hibiscus came in with a fae lady. “Pyria, this is my mother, Redflower.”

“Welcome, at last, your majesty. I am surprised that you have emerged. Your daughters have been good company, but you have been reluctant to come to the house.”

“There were reasons. The boys are returning, so I would have come here in any case when they caused trouble with your boys.”

“Not my boys, precisely, but yes.”

“I am looking for Daisy. She was supposed to be gathering some things for the evening meal and never returned. I am a bit concerned with the things about.”

Pyria laughed. ‘Filvy suggested that, rather than going all over the woods, that they port to the Qinvaris market and buy what she needed. Daisy and cook loved that idea and they and some others ported off to the market.”

“What is the market?”

“The Qinvaris set the market up long ago. Folk from all over the Empire send their produce and other things there to sell to other folk. I told them to be back for lunch, but Filvy and Daisy may stay longer.”

Redflower grinned. “The boy is here?”

“He is, until the end of the five day. He has to go back to the Republic then.”


“To finish college. He has already done his Service, so he can stay longer when he graduates.”

“We may lose Daisy.”

“She did speak with Princess Moonshine about fae and the Republic. We should discuss this with Renynn.”

“The lord? That is a bit frightening.”

“Your husband is speaking with him and the other louts. Our louts, not yours, at present. Let’s go.”

Pyria and Hibiscus cajoled a reluctant Redflower to the workroom where Renynn and Tiger were looking at maps with Dan and the others. Renynn grinned when the three came into the room and said, “Another new friend, Pyria?”

“This is Daisy’s mother wondering where her daughter went.”

“Shopping, wasn’t it? Filvy convinced Daisy that it would be far more comfortable to go shopping for the things she wanted than gathering them, since it was cold this morning. Your majesty, Daisy must not have told you last night.”

“She did not. So what are you and my bonded up to?”

“Now that your sons and the other men have returned, setting alerts and traps in case Redhand and his people should return.”

“Do you think that he will?” Redflower asked nervously.

“Ryul, you are the expert here.”

“Milady, Redhand may return very briefly, to take the mana batteries that the plant here is producing. Since we do not have a control tablet at present, we can’t shut the plant down. Dan is going up to the Sanctuary today with my brother looking to rectify that, but Redhand may still return. So we are taking some precautions.”

“How did that monster return from the dark past?”

“That is a complicated tale,” Renynn said. “We do not have all of it as yet, but it involves the community the cult came from and some stasis boxes. Redhand was unboxed to assault the Qinvaris.”

RNS General Ironaxe

Jorge was leaving his quarters when a rating found him and said, “Message for you, sir.”

Jorge took the message and grinned. “Thank you, sailor.”

“You’re welcome sir.”

Jorge went to the captain’s quarters and said, “Major Tollings, sir.”

“Come in, major.”

Jorge went inside the office, where the captain was meeting with Commander Hotflier and said, “I have good news, sir. My wife just had a baby girl.”

Captain Greenwater and Commander Hotflier grinned. “Your first?” Del asked.

“My second. I am going to need a boat so I can go ashore and I was hoping that I could have the wardroom for a bit of a party.”

“Dalag, do you have a problem with that?”
Dalag grinned. “Not at all. That is if we are invited.”

“Both of you are,” Jorge said, “Along with the rest of the officer’s and chiefs. You are also invited to my place in Ishendell when we get back.”

“That is very generous.”

“Not really. My wife will want to know you all.”

“I will arrange the boat,” Dalag said.


Ahba grinned as the major was let into his audience chamber. “You have returned, major. That is a surprise.”

“I need to send a message inland or I will be in trouble. My wife and I have a baby girl.”

“Your first?”

“Second. Lyari is almost three now.”

“Is your wife an exile? That name sounds elvish.”

“We named Lyari after the late Grand Master of the Mage Academy, an elf we admired very much just after his death.”

“That seems like a strange choice.”

“Not if you met the elf. I would tell you his story, but I need to arrange for message and make some purchases.”

“I could assist with the purchases. What are they?”

“I need some food for a thing aboard ship. I have something to celebrate.”

“I imagine that you do.”

The Community

Terrel looked at the message that had just come through the small portal and grinned. Lissia and Jorge had had their second. He folded the message and went to find Filia. She was watching the girls practicing their dance, something they had been doing every day since Moonshine had left. She turned as Terrel approached and said, “Moonshine is in big trouble if she doesn’t come back and take these girls to Chatsrey.”
Terrel laughed. “I have some good news that I thought you would like. Lissia had her baby.”
“Boy or girl?”
“Girl. Poor Jorge is in trouble.”
Filia laughed. “Almost certainly. I am glad that my daughter found her True and they are married. Of course that means I have grandchildren to look forward to.”
“I’m sure that you will handle that.”
Filia grinned. “So am I.”

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