The Return of Redhand, Chapter 33-34

“Young Lord Carayarus charmed Lielatha? How did that happen?”

“Lielatha was in the Lower City on one of her projects and ran into Theo Beinan, Derry Gilders and young lord Carayarus. Lord Carayarus was dealing with some things that his sister wanted in a dollhouse that had been commissioned for her from Yelsatra’s. Lielatha spent an twentieth going over the ideas with the young man and had go back later to deal with her own project.”

Chapter 33.

The Imperial Palace

Narbeth looked at the council members and said, “I wanted to open this first meeting of the new year with a discussion about the events on the Carayarus estate. As you may remember, the empress arranged the return of the House to their estate at the behest of House Qinvaris. The various family members settled in and were dealing with the cult of the new gods in various ways that were more or less peaceful when a monster from the ancient past returned. Redhand was seen on the estate.”

“How is that possible, father?” Zaos asked.

“Apparently he had been boxed up in a stasis box and unboxed when the Project wanted reinforcements.”

“Is this certain?” Erlan asked. “Redhand is almost a myth.”

“I have Justiciar Sarrieth on call. He has accepted a case on the matter.”

“We should speak with the Justiciar, then.”

Galan went and came back with Evin. The Emperor said, “Justiciar, the council wanted an update on the events at the Carayarus estate.”

“All right, here is what I have so far. The Carayarus had more or less settled in and while they hadn’t driven the cult out, were more or less dealing with them with the surreptitious assistance of House Silverin and some portal fae, who have been porting new gods missionaries to a location they won’t disclose to me.”

“Is that why there are fewer of them in Lower City?” Cohnal said with a grin. “I had wondered.”

“I would not know,” Evin said. “The Lower City is not my jurisdiction.”

“Alen and Gander probably won’t spill either, will they?”

“I suspect not. In any case, Lord Renynn was laid up for a time after an encounter with a tiger and various family were getting established and looking for business.”

“As well as doing very well with my wife,” Erlan said. “She was rather charmed by young Lord Carayarus. That may be because he did not know who she was.”

“Continue Justiciar,” Narbeth said. “We can discuss some of the other aspects of the Carayarus’ return when you have given us your brief.”

“Yes. Sometime after the Carayarus moved in, a young fae girl and Lord Dan had an encounter with some Protectors and others wearing Redhand’s badge.”

“Is that certain?” Cohnal asked.

“I saw the badges on the two Protectors that were killed in the encounter with Dan myself. I have pictures of the bodies.”

 “Why did not the Carayarus look for Redhand?”

“The Carayarus only have some people from the Republic and about thirty slaves that they purchased from the Qinvaris, most of whom are house staff. They were not expecting a military force moving onto the estates and there are five estates to cover, so the House did not have the resources to perform a thorough search and did not want to risk people by using small squads to look for a force of unknown size and strength.”

“What did Redhand do? Did he drive the Carayarus away?”

“Redhand conducted some raids on the Qinvaris for supply and spread some Blight, the blight being his original mission. More worrisome, he allied with the Prophet and some rather nasty folk from the Fellowship and the Orcenlands. Then the lot of them all left the Carayarus estate and went elsewhere. They have not reappeared as yet.”

“So the problem is not Redhand by himself, or the cult by themselves, or these new people but all of them working together,” Erlan said.

“Yes,” Evin said. “There is also some evidence that the three groups were all connected before they joined at the Carayarus Estate and that they will work together.”

“Isn’t this Richard’s problem? He is the most likely target.”

“House Qinvaris is putting resources on the situation, but House Qinvaris is not the only House that has been struck and there are no guarantees that any of the parties involved will limit themselves to assaulting House Qinvaris.”

“I doubt that they will be that foolish,” Prince Zaos said.

“Thank you, Justiciar,” Narbeth said. “I think that we have taken enough of your time. Keep us updated on the progress of this case.”

Evin left and Cohnal said, “Young Lord Carayarus charmed Lielatha? How did that happen?”

“Lielatha was in the Lower City on one of her projects and ran into Theo Beinan, Derry Gilders and young lord Carayarus. Lord Carayarus was dealing with some things that his sister wanted in a dollhouse that had been commissioned for her from Yelsatra’s. Lielatha spent an twentieth going over the ideas with the young man and had go back later to deal with her own project.”

“Why did the young man go to Yelsatra’s,” Cohnal asked. “He is a House Ralatris vassal and not exactly well known, especially for a foreigner?”

“Apparently the young lord’s cousin ran into Naevys Ralatris or she ran into him and they were shopping for the dollhouse together. The young lord was looking for prospects for the business at home that were not as well known as Fylson is. Young Dan was following up for his sister.”

“If he avoided an explosion from Lielatha, he is very good indeed,” Prince Zaos said. “The Carayarus are doing very well.”

“I will get the rest of the story from my wife,” The Emperor said. “Let us move on to other issues.”

Chapter 34.


Swifty grinned as he got in the car with Suzy and her parents. Suzy looked at him and said. “What is so funny?”

“Somebody tipped Vinnie off. He was watching us leave the airport.”

“Who is he working for now?”

“Inky probably. At least Inky thinks that Vinnie is working for him. Inky was probably told that I was using the plane and going to the Empire. At least he can’t say that I was going there for something crooked, since I was with you and Alinis the whole time.”

“Izzie was at the party. So was Byddri.”

“Yes they were.”

Beltain Naval Academy

Midshipman Captain Freadeal Short looked at the assembled first year midshipmen and cadets. “Welcome back. We are on the back end of the Academy Session. Remember the break fondly, because now things are going to get tough. Those of us about to graduate will make sure of that. Now fall out and get your gear stowed. The break is over.”

Swifty stowed his clothes and put the glass dragon that Susan had given him for Winterfaire on the shelf. Then he picked up his books and was off to his first class.


Bradal looked at the telegram and frowned. Apparently the navy had invaded the far away city of Clikitat and then marched inland and taken a Community that the other end of the telegram was annoyed about. Folding the telegram, lighting it with his lighter and then watching it burn in his ashtray, he considered how to handle the problem. The big problem was that, between the Administration taking a hands off with the navy and the war, how far away Clikitat was and the navy not saying anything about operations there, Bradal didn’t have a hook to hang the issue on. Also, if he started to ask questions about an operation that had not appeared in the newspapers or in any briefs he would have seen, the navy would be looking into that and how he discovered the action with a magnifying glass.

Not coming up with a solution, he set his thoughts on the problem aside and started to look at the quarterly appropriations. He looked at the various numbers for the departments. Justice was asking for an increase and so was the navy. In fact the navy was asking for a special appropriation to cover the costs of current overseas operations. Bradal grinned. He couldn’t ask questions about the operations, but he could ask about the outlandish expenses. He started to draft a memo about the out of control spending for naval operations. Combined with a press release, that should get things started.

 Gordon went into his boss’s office and said, “You wanted me, Senator?”

“I did.” George held up a report. “These are the latest polls. I’m not sure that I believe them. Go down to Red River and buy some drinks. Talk to people, but don’t tell them you are working for me. I want what people are actually saying to go with the polls.”

“You may not like what you hear.”

“I know. But better that than a surprise.”

“I will leave in the morning.”

“Billings, we’re home!”

“Indeed you are, madam. How was your trip to the Empire?”

“Interesting,” Geral said. “The Emperor is an interesting elf to talk to and I had some interesting discussions with Prince Zaos and Admiral Tollings. There was some concern over the Administration, but other than that, things went very well.”

“What were they concerned about?”

“The seeming lack of concern about foreign affairs. Prince Zaos brought up the fact that his niece had been here for moons before the State Department knew she was here.”

“How did that happen?”

“The prince said that Susan knows the story.”

“She did not come with you.”

“She is returning to Gallington Heights. We did discover what was bothering her, as she had a chance to get together with Swifty and that resolved things.”

“Was the young lady molested?”

“No, she wasn’t. Apparently, she was forced to kill a Transformed as result of an assault. As far as I can tell, the death was justified, but she is rather distraught about it. Bring Lidia and the kids to dinner and we will tell you all that happened.”

“Is young Derry enjoying himself?”

“Very much so. Even more importantly, he is doing well for us in the Empire. He is very well liked at the palace and he arranged the talks with the Emperor and Prince Zaos.”

“Did he find his lady?”

“He certainly did and we had dinner with her parents. Her father is an Ironaxe and arms master for the Justiciars. Klara likes Roshia very much already.”


Bill was let into the Dean’s office and said, “You wanted to speak with me, Mr. Islan?”

“Yes, Mr. Wavechaser. You were gone all the last session and did not tell my office that you were not attending.”

“That was unavoidable.”

“I also had requests from people including some significant alumni wondering where you had gone and what was going on. So, while a single student not being here was not a large concern, some people were looking for you.”

“I stopped and spoke with them in Chatsrey. My girl was kidnapped and I was told to go to Chatsrey East station and wait. I couldn’t tell anyone and the kidnappers used a portal to send me to a distant town, so I couldn’t tell anyone here what had happened to me.”

“That sounds rather preposterous.”

“Moonshine and the other girls’ kidnapping story has been in the papers. That took place in Market Square and the kidnappers used a transformer as a distraction so the story was on the front page.”

“Why did they want you?”

“That is something I can’t really talk about. It has to do with something in my possession and what I did over the summer with some other people in Desert Howl.”

“You do know that missing a session could make things difficult going forward.”

“I know. But I couldn’t leave Moonshine and there were other things involved. I will see what I can do to make things up over the summer and this session.”

“Well we are glad to have you back with us. Thank you for coming in and explaining a bit.”

“I know that the story sounds strange, but I will write a report for composition class. I have to do that anyway.”

“Who for?”

“Somebody I can’t talk about.”

Bill left the dean’s office and Harald went to the Chancellor’s office. “Mr. Wavechaser is back.”

The Chancellor grinned. “What happened to him?”

“His girl is Moonshine, the fae dancer in Chatsrey that was kidnapped. He was forced to go someplace and do some things for somebody. The kidnapping was in the papers and there is obviously a lot to the story that he isn’t talking about.”

“Did he bring anything interesting back?”

“Not at all. At least he didn’t mention it.”

“Pity that. I would have thought that he would demand that the kidnappers hand over their library.”

 Harald laughed. “I think he was reluctant to do that again.”

Bill looked at the piles of things stacked in his space, turned to Jorge and said, “Thank you for handling this.”

“You couldn’t. Of course some people are going to push you.”

“I know. You did get the ventilation installed for the clean room.”

“I did, and Alre wanted the same sort of thing for his telescopes when he understood what you were doing. I set up some more spaces so that they can have the equipment installed if they want it.”

“I see that Bekka has moved in.”

Jorge grinned. “She has. Unlike the previous tenant, she isn’t likely to be working for the enemy.”


Tigerlilly held up a letter and a telegram. “We are going home.”


“First of all, the Champion wants us to cover for your brother in the Fellowship and second our mothers are plotting and want us closer to home. They set a date for our joining.”

“Without talking to us.”

“The couple are the least important at a joining. We are stuck with it.”

Faghig laughed. “When are we expected?”

“Not right away. I want to have Sthisse set up a party for our friends before we go.”

“That sounds like a wonderful idea.”

Bill handed Sarya the daily brief and she said, “What is so funny?”

“The Senator is looking for people familiar with Clikitat and the Mahgal states. He has some staff poking around the harbor and looking for companies that trade there.”

“There is very little of that. No trade with Clikitat at all. Why do you think he’s doing it?”

“Coincidently, the navy has been using Clikitat as the gateway to the Project’s Community after Major Tollings pirated the place. I think that the Senator received one of those messages he gets.”

“More than likely. We don’t have the resources to monitor them, and I imagine that some people were rather annoyed when Jorge moved on the Community.”

“Barry’s last message was rather informative. The Community would rather that the major be there than Jorge feels free to play.”

“I think they are right on that. Jorge’s sister has been returned, so that crisis has passed for them.”

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