The Return of Redhand, Chapter 99-100

Redhand can’t figure Taeren out. Jerthath gets a message.

Chapter 99

The Wildlands, the Empire

Redhand looked at Taeren and said, “You don’t seem to be too concerned about your circumstances.”

“I’m not, actually. I take every day as bonus, since one terrible day in my life. That has been a long string of wonderful days and if circumstances mean that my life is cut short, I cannot complain. On the other hand some people care a great deal about me and they are going to be looking for me all too soon.”

Redhand held up a broken microportal. “We found quite a few of these. They won’t help you. Your brother in law hasn’t found us yet, so I am not too concerned.”
“I would be. I didn’t say that it was Richard looking for me, though he certainly is. You also didn’t just take me and my wife, you took all of our party, with the exception of Torald and Waterlilly.”

“Why are they significant?”

“Well, Rolim is Umevan high family, so I would be wary. Your partners could tell you why. As for Aien and Kavrala, taking guild royalty and the one in charge of dealing with you wasn’t the most intelligent thing that you could have done.”

“The guild is looking for me? Why?”

“Apparently, long ago, you were responsible for the misuse of some Scourge devises and Lord Qinvaris placed a contract on you. You disappeared and the payment was put in an account in escrow. The guild also placed a sum for discovering your whereabouts in escrow. So both accounts are rather large.”

“You seem to know a lot about matters concerning me.”

“I was at my sister’s during the Conclave. You and your friends were frequent topics at the table, especially after you dropped those bombs in the market.”

“Not because I robbed the Depository?”

“That was an injury, but a small one. Richard and Larranth feel that you robbing the Depository was almost their fault as it was yours, at least as far as the money was concerned and I don’t know if you ever considered some things concerning the Scourge and coin.”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you know of the five cities?”

“They were Scourged by members of my family as part of forwarding the Project. What of it?”

“They were also robbed of every coin that could be found.”

“My descendents were not foolish then.”

“Actually, they were foolish, very foolish, because of what effect the Scourge has on things. All the coin in the five cities was marked and actually rendered poisonous by something called radiation. The radiation can be detected using a scanner.”

“My family should have that coin, so that should not be a concern to me.”

“Are you sure? First of all, some of that coin was spent, and second, your family placed the coin in the vault at Wongpo. My brother in law retrieved the coin and placed it in a secret vault.”

Redhand looked at Taeren a bit sharply. “I doubt that your brother in law would release large amounts of that coin into circulation if it were dangerous.”

“A large amount, no. On the other hand, one coin in a hundred or a thousand, say, in a shipment that was being transferred to another House facility, or one of our banks, That my nephew might do, if he knew that someone was probably planning to rob the House, since the coin could be scanned and extracted again.”

“Why are you telling me all this? Aren’t you giving House secrets away?”

“First of all, your assault on the Depository was four moons ago. So you have had plenty of time to spend the coin and let it be found. Second, you now know about the tainted coin and the fact that any money you steal from the House will contain that coin. Finally, your associates and family certainly knew all of what I just told you and should have told you about the events before you raided the Depository.”

 Taenya looked at Tilly sketching away and said, “You aren’t afraid?”

“I am, somewhat. But I know that there are good people looking for us, and that if they kill us, the people here won’t get what they want. This isn’t like the last time, where some foolish churchmen were looking for a mage to try and put to the stake. The Prophet wants the word about the new gods to spread and Redhand will probably want to explain himself.”

“What about me? They have no reason to keep me alive.”

 “They do now, as I and the other ladies will not tolerate Redhand handing you to his monsters.”

“I wish that Virion had come back.”

Tilly grinned. “We will have to give him reason to.”

Chapter 100

The Divinity Devise

The bot awoke from standby mode and made the routine checks. So far, since the last time the bot had made a check, everything was going as well as could be expected. The nine’s return to materiality had continued and they would soon awaken. If the bot was capable of impatience, the time that the nine could take things over could not come soon enough. As the bot did not consider such things, it continued to monitor the devise for the entire inspection period. With none of the problems reoccurring, the bot returned to standby mode.

Nat turned to his father and said, “I thought that you should see this place for yourself.”

“This isn’t my first time here. I performed some work here long ago. I actually met your mother here, in fact. Things seem to have calmed down.”

“They have. There is still steam erupting, but I expect that things are intense in there.”

“So let me see what you have set up here to monitor the activity.”

“Certainly father.”


Ratug looked at the message and grinned. He took it and went to Jerthath’s office. “House Qinvaris sent this to me, but I have a feeling that it is more for you, than for me.”

He handed the message to Jerthath, who looked at it and frowned. “Redhand has returned from the ancient past and taken Elf Carran as a hostage? That sounds preposterous, except that I know that Dumag put Jreghug and Faghig on to what their uncle was up to and they haven’t returned. They also haven’t sent a lot of reports on what they were doing. I think that I will go and catch up with them.”

Ratug grinned. “I thought that would get your attention. You want Redhand for your collection.”

Jerthath grinned as he said, “I certainly do.”


George looked at the Congressman across the desk from him and said, “Why are you here, Caldin?”

“I wanted to know how the Administration is handling the kidnapping of Elf Carran, his wife and some others, all of whom are citizens of the Republic or related to prominent citizens. Elf Carran is one of the most prominent citizens in my district, an old friend and is rightly regarded as a national treasure. Yet it seems as if no action has been taken to retrieve Elf Carran or deal with the people that took him. I wanted to speak to you privately before making the matter public.”

“I have told the navy to prepare for action, but I haven’t given the final go ahead because of the potential for an international incident.”

“I doubt that the Fellowship would squawk if the special section would make the retrieval in their territory, Dolmon may have already sent a request, and the Emperor would not have any issues with the special section performing the retrieval in the Empire. So an international incident should not be a concern. You can verify that through the embassies involved.”

“Grace hasn’t mentioned that. Are you sure?”

“Mr. President, I’m not sure what the Secretary has been doing, but she apparently has not maintained contact with the embassies or our offshore stations. When I received the word about Elf Carran, I sent messages to the Fellowship Embassy in Chatsrey, the Dolmon consulate and the Imperial Embassy. They all told me what I just told you. None of them would have an issue with the special section handling something like the retrieval of a prominent citizen if Major Tollings handled things the way he has previously. The major has built up a good reputation for working with foreign countries while conducting operations in the interests of the Republic. I would not be concerned about an international incident.”


Jreghug and Faghig looked at Jerthath and said, “You found us. Why were you looking for us, Jerthath?”

“Other than you haven’t sent any reports to me, that is?”

“We’re on contract. We don’t have to send any reports until the contract is complete.”

“Including something telling me that the nightmare that orc mothers still use to frighten children into obedience has returned and is working with your uncle and his friends?”

Faghig looked at his brother and said, “I knew that we forgot something.”

“So tell me all about Redhand. Where is he?”

“We’re not sure. We think he’s near Innshys and Fayspire, since our cousin keeps showing up and picking groceries up. We’ve tried planting microportals, but somebody told uncle and the rest about them, so they scan and clear them out. Redhand has made a lot of enemies, including some in the neighborhood he has hidden out in, so he’s being looked for. He can’t be too far from the Genzeiros estate, since one of their sons was killed when he ran into some of Redhand’s Protectors and one of the House’s daughters went missing at the same time that Elf Carran was taken. That’s what we know so far. We’ve been looking with some help from Tarranth Qinvaris and the Genzeiros boys, but this is their busy time of the year and they can’t devote the time to looking for him without some guarantee of success. The guild will provide resources for the takedown, but they aren’t very good in the woods.”

“What about the Marshalls? There was that character who dealt with Dúhael.”

“While there is a guild contract on Redhand, he doesn’t have any active writs that have been adjudicated and any ancient writs were voided along with the others. So there is no bounty and the Marshalls don’t want to be involved.”

“No active writs? He has committed some fairly terrible crimes.”

“He’s also Houseless. House Ravahana was declared Anathema at the end of the Mage Wars. So he is outside the law. That means that he is fair game, but that also means that there is no House to file a writ against.”

“So the Marshalls aren’t involved. This isn’t their sort of show in any case.”

“No it isn’t.”

“So give me the full brief.”

Jreghug and Faghig went over what they had discovered and what they had tried to do. When they finished, Jreghug said, “Redhand has been a surprise. He has been able to give the Qinvaris real problems while staying alive.”

“Has Richard involved himself?”

“Not directly. He delegated Redhand to Tarranth and later, Dan. Tarranth has been working in the Empire and Dan has been here in the Fellowship, so we have been working with both of them.”

“If I wanted to talk to Redhand, what would be the best way?”
Jreghug and Faghig grinned. “Our cousin Adag has been making regular grocery runs about once a fiveday.”

“He is the one you tried to plant microportals on, isn’t it?”

“Yes. So far, we don’t think that the other side has figured out that it is us doing it. We haven’t even had to use Tigerlilly as a distraction.”

“That would probably work.”

“We’re saving that for when we really want a distraction.”

“I think that I want to talk to some old reprobates, so we can meet later.”

“The Colonel and the Dragonmaster are both in town.”

“Those are the two I want to speak with.”

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