Realms of Death

(Removed from The Sleeper Sword)

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Many nations put forth the belief that death is the final solution, a descent into eternal nothingness. Dust to dust. The End.

Others believe a soul simply ceasing to exist when the body surrenders is a great and unforgivable sacrilege. They base their mortal morality, their faith, on trust of life after death, believing in the bliss of Aaru or the eternal damnation of Hades, and preach that the final destination hinges on the individual. Good and evil, both with just rewards.

The truth of the matter is that some do simply cease to exist. A soul never awakened has never commenced a new journey and therefore floats out empty, in much the way most animals are born and die unaware of anything beyond instinct.

However, there is more, and those who fall into eternal nothingness are rare indeed. In fact, one life ended usually heralds another, and while there are the realms of bliss and netherness, from which none return, they are but two in a crucible of countless more.

These realms transcend all cultures, religions, creeds and races and make no distinction between worlds and galaxies. It is thought they are the links that serve to bind universes.

Now, while the vast universal majority know beyond doubt there are great numbers of worlds in the eternal spaces and while a fair number of those acknowledge the existence of other universes- the latter largely a factor based on intelligence and logic, as opposed to irrefutable evidence- only a scattering know of the reality of the realms beyond mortality.

A comatose individual may inadvertently tumble into an inexplicable place – the soul searching for a way out of physical prison – and not know what had in truth occurred. These tales are generally disbelieved. The fortunate few who are revisited by departed loved ones become aware of alternate realities for a brief time, but later convince themselves it was fervent wishing for a final glimpse of a loved one’s face. Hallucination, they say, and it is laughed off and set aside. The living move on. There are those who are resuscitated to tell of strange sights, but such tales are so varied and disparate that no clear truth has emerged to convince others. Of course, the truth is that each different sight signifies a different realm, but no parallels have emerged to prove the worth of tales.

Accident, chance, you say. Yes, and life moves on. Yet, the thread of truth exists and a scattering do realise there is reality beyond mortality.

Then there are those who’s faith, or desire for longevity, cause them to discover the process of a soul’s rebirth. This is known as reincarnation. They know of other realms, but generally the time between death and re-entry via a newborn is too short in span to permit protracted visitations and reconnaissance of a different realm. They know, but do not really understand. Naturally, there are exceptions, but the process of rebirth remains obscure and thus the details remain accessible only to those involved.

Let it be said there are those who find their way into and out of realms other than Aaru and Hell and they are not comatose, resuscitated or re-birthed. Some relate their fantastical experiences, others remain forever silent, and for each there is a sense of disbelief and confusion. This mars any attempt at sincere acceptance. Perhaps, in final analysis, it is a blessing in disguise, for any preacher of any persuasion would swiftly tell of the likely evils lurking in the psyche of a nation that believes it has a second chance to atone for sin, or a third, a fourth. Perhaps there’s a universal conspiracy to ridicule proof of other realms for that very reason.

Finally, there are the powerful ones. Those who draw their powers of magic from sources both in the physical reality and others. Those who possess the extraordinary ability to send mind and soul in temporary symbiosis out of body to discover new sources of inspiration and to garner new talents. These are sorcerers, necromancers and, yes, occasionally a drugged individual who finds that place where all holds fall away. The latter is generally scorned, unless the drugged state is deliberately induced for religious or prophetic ceremonies; the former choose not to reveal much. Power is personal … or cannot be shared.

The realms are open to all. Bright, stupid, good, evil, fanatics, atheists, moderates, ghouls and God-fearers, the clowns of every society, as well as those of serious mind. There is no distinction, no test that must be passed. However, conversely, there is a distinction of another kind. There are realms that admit featureless souls into an etheric type of reality, while there are those that admit the soul into a space where it is again physical, the body reformed. These are realms that allow return to a previous mortal reality, including reincarnates, and then there are those spaces that cannot be exited. It hinges on choice, although most often choice is unknowing and in the unconscious.

In this way those who trust in heavenly bliss after death will indeed achieve it, if deserving, while those who never truly thought about it would tumble into a place where much is familiar. An indecisive soul may find a realm where every moment of eternity presented a choice of some kind … and so on. A mean person would forever spin bombarded by taunts and mishaps. An evil soul believing in the concept Hell would descend into that netherworld. Choice determines all – as in life, so in death.

The Enchanter broke all those rules.

A reincarnate by choice, achieving rebirth without assistance, his visits to the invisible realms were too brief to learn anything, to even see anything, and yet he knew they were there. An Immortal true after his seventh birth, he could no longer die, and yet chose to do so in one reality to reach another. He deliberately chose his realm, knowing little about it. It did not choose him and the destination was not dependent on mortal bent; he chose with a clear mind … and enraged heart. He learned of its existence from a High Priestess of Rebirth on Cèlaver and she warned him that others had returned only due to her interference in the process of death. He would not have that interference – he could well discover he was lost or, worse yet, bound to the realm without a way to leave its confines.

It was exactly what he wanted. He deliberately hurled into a realm virtually sealed, while desiring despite that to return to his previous reality. More astounding, he dragged another in with him, something no one achieved before. He retained his body, leaving no mortal remains on his homeworld – therefore the awful destruction of Torrke – and accomplished the same feat for his companion. He retained his considerable power, the most profound manipulation of all and, finally, he opted for a time-warp reality, something extremely contrary to someone wishing to return home when the task was done.

Ignorant of the invisible realms, knowing only he dared not follow into the one the Darak Or sought to delve into, he chose a place difficult to escape from. If he could not easily leave, then Margus could not either, and that was the ultimate factor. As others found their way to other realms, so the Enchanter found his way into his new reality.

The time had come to finish it with the Darak Or.

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Prelude to War

This excerpt is the state of things as The Sleeper Sword commences. It functions as backstory now, for I removed it during an edit.

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The Dome of the Guardians

Buthos stood at the raised white dais ignoring the flashing lights upon it. They were familiar to him and he no longer noticed them, and had no need to remind himself of what they signified.

Knowledge, Communion, Sorcery and Recognition. Part of him, part of all the gathered, taken for granted.

He was looking up, staring. The vaulted ceiling was transparent and he could discern the many stars that filled the void of this region, but he was not seeing that beauty. No, he looked with memory upon what once graced the ceiling, the beauty and horror that adorned where now transparency did likewise. Reflections of the participants in ancient battles, good and evil. A work of incredible artistry removed, for they no longer needed reminder of those times. Other times had come, and no rendition could ever do justice to those.

He sighed inaudibly and lowered his colourless eyes to the sacred ogives. More memories there. He closed his eyes, seeing snatches of coming and goings. He truly missed old friends who had entered and exited, and now never would again. So many gone. Fourteen ogives, and once thirteen were in frequent use, but that dwindled to just seven … then, abruptly, it had been eight. The fourteenth doorway, never before used, had glowed for a brief, too brief time. The Dragon ogive. Now there were only four, and one of those four was his personal entrance as leader.

He sighed again and opened his eyes. In reality, therefore, only three active doorways. Three races. The final three to recognise and acknowledge the magical presence of the Dome, the Gatherers’ Circle of the Immortal Guardians.

He turned his gaze to the gathered on the tiered stone benches, and for a moment a profound sense of loss overcame him. He was not generally given to great introspection – after so long he knew himself – but there were so few left that it hurt. It was only a matter of time before the Dome winked out forever, and it and they would truly be no more.

The three remaining Centuar. The three Sylmer. And his Siric, now a mere seven including himself, after the long strife with the Murs of the Forbidden Zone. The gathering call had gone out and they came as ever, unable to ignore the summons, for it was felt within and was not issued unless there was need.

His lips tightened briefly. Only one additional ogive was still open to entrants, but they had not responded. The Q’lin’la were in the Forbidden Zone and had either not heard through the enchantment there or assumed their current tasks superseded the summons. Most likely it was the latter, for the feathered magicians had bound themselves elsewhere.

His eyes flicked again to the Dragon ogive. In all the ages it alone had remained dark but for that one stretch of time when its master breached the defences. He was himself inside the Dome that day and petrified to see a legend made real … and now he wondered if it would glow again, ever. He prayed it would and that he would live to see it come to pass.

“Buthos?”

He started, still unused to his name, and then relaxed. Buthos. The Dome Dragon had named him true that day and it shattered him for a time. He then reassumed his real identity after that Dragon left into the invisible realms, an honour, a private homage offered to a departed friend.

He was taking a long time to say anything, he knew, but it was a long time since the Gatherers’ Circle had convened … and the memories were fresh again and he could do no other than accord them due reverence.

He smiled, cleared his throat and waved a hand. “It’s still beautiful, is it not?”

“It’s been a fair while,” Belun, the Centuar leader, returned with an answering smile. He and his two companions were in humanoid guise, a form they employed more often than not now, for reasons Buthos was unaware of.

It was five hundred years since their last gathering and that time had been to release the Sagorin from their oath to the Guardians. No longer Immortal and with a growing population on Glorium, their homeworld, they asked to be released and it was granted. The universe experienced unprecedented peace, and the Guardians’ tasks now were of policing against exploitation of new and old worlds and their natural resources. Not a darkling in sight and the dark-inclined races had retreated to war only upon their own, and who desired to change that? The Sagorin were not called to duty in a thousand years and therefore allowed to go.

The Light had come. In the guise of a Dragonne Queen and a sword and a legend.

The Gift of Torrullin.

Buthos sighed once more and Belun rose to come forward. “I know you not like this, old friend; what is it?”

“I miss it all, Belun. Old friends, Taranis … Torrullin. Peace is a wonderful thing, yet I hark to the fire of yesteryear.”

Belun inclined his magnificent head. “I know exactly how you feel. Yet something is a-foot for you recalled the Circle. Fireworks, perhaps?”

The Siric leader chuckled and his eyes sparked. He put the memories away and faced the present. “Ah, yes, I’d say something is decidedly on the brew.”

Belun tapped the dais as if to say ‘well, let’s get on with it then’ and returned to his seat.

Buthos raised his voice and began to speak. “Welcome, friends. It’s good to see you all together.” All nodded and smiled; there was a sense of anticipation. “We’ve been scattered for some time – this is the first time this century the Siric are in one place – but I believe any of you here would’ve recalled the Dome in the near future had I not done so now. The same disquiet has come to you, if I read you correctly.”

One of the Sylmer rose. He was newest to the trio and was spokesman for the other two. Those two were fixtures to the Dome and excruciatingly shy. He jumped down to stand at ease in the open circle. He was bright of colour and very self-assured, unlike his companions. This Sylmer had not a shy hair on his head.

“Canimer was attacked two weeks ago, the first time such calamity has befallen our homeworld.”

Everyone stared at him. The Sylmer were virtually defenceless unless the antagonists entered the water.

Cristor held his hands high to forestall questions. “Nobody succumbed and the attack was short-lived, but it was unforeseen and we don’t know why. And further, we can’t determine origin. Canimer is on alert and the stress already exacts a toll. Yes, we were of a mind to call the Guardians in a matter of days.”

“What happened?” Belun asked. The Centuar ever regarded themselves as protectors of the shy Sylmer.

“Our floating island,” and Cristor indicated himself and his two companions, “was blasted out from under us. Luckily we were in the water at the time, but what really concerns us is that the blast erupted from below, from the ocean herself. Combing the seabed has revealed anything. The only thing we have with certainty is that no mortal Sylmer initiated the attack.”

“Hell and damnation,” Belun muttered. Then: “Do you have a place to live?”

“Thank you, yes – we put the pieces together.” The Sylmer were a water people and lived out their entire life spans needing no land. Canimer had no land, thus when a Sylmer attained Immortality – thereby losing his or her tail – that Sylmer had to leave the homeworld. Due to the long peace these three opted to return and, while they could comfortably reside in water for spells, they also required something solid for those times water became too much for altered biology. The Siric had assisted in erecting a floating island for their comfort, as had the Centuar, bringing the necessary materials in from other worlds.

“No signature?” Buthos asked.

“Not a trace,” Cristor returned, and made his way back to his seat.

“Belun, you want to say something?” Buthos asked when the Centuar again rose from his seat.

“Pleses was attacked a month ago and again no obvious instigator. Recently the Dinor declared an internal truce to investigate incidences of violence not of their doing. No trace of cause found. Two days back an ethereal dome dropped over Shanghai Metrop on Xen – they’re still investigating. Now we hear Canimer too has suffered an inexplicable event …”

Declan, Buthos’ deputy, interrupted. “Beacon’s power was mysteriously severed for nine days. It’s currently harsh winter and seventeen people died as a result.”

“There are other incidences,” Buthos said. “They appear random and were it not for our ability to overview, they’d remain unrelated. Some are natural catastrophes, on a small scale, and some come in the guise of technological fault. Others are in the form of attack and a smaller number have the appearance of sorcery.”

“And what links them is the blatant lack of how, who, why or what,” Belun grumbled.

“Precisely.”

“And each incidence speaks to the greatest fears,” Declan said. “Beacon will certainly succumb without power, Canimer can’t absorb the shock of an attack from the water, Xen has an understandable horror of returning to a domed existence …”

“Declan has a point,” Buthos murmured. “Something is a-foot and we need to find out what that is.”

Belun rubbed his hands together. “Excellent.”

A few chuckles.

They understood. Peace was wonderful, but this was why they were Immortal Guardians. Sentries against evil. And it had been a while since their particular talents had been put to the test.

Mysterious Tennet

One has to wonder what had chosen what.

Had sentient life entering Tennet chosen their worlds or had the worlds chosen them? Why was it the Murs Siric chose Urac with its ironic meaning ‘birdsong’ and then, too, paradise Karakan? Did the settling of Karakan point to something else? Was it possible aeons in exile enabled the Murs to discover and appreciate the gentler side to the universe? Or was it simply long ago human habitation of Karakan that proved a world’s viability?

And the recent arrivals, the Kallanon court of Queen Abdiah, had they chosen the strangeness of Mitrayl deliberately … because it was expedient? Or had the volatile planet called with a contrary, beckoning voice? The Kallanon were on the edge of lava fields where conditions were harsh and threatening. Why there and not the spectacular cool of the mountains with its countless caves? Was it the tempestuousness of that eerie light?

The Mysor. Arachnids feasting for survival on the bleaker. They were soulless and subjugated, but were not created by sorcery. Enhanced, enlarged, bred, yes, but once they were spiders, harmless with the beginnings of intelligence. A large portion of Urac, Plural and Mitrayl was planted with bleaker bulbs to ensure their continuance, strictly controlled by the Murs to ensure loyalty; the Mysor loathed Mitrayl and never went to harvest, thus the Siric left the fields to run riot. The Mysor preferred dry worlds or was it that dry worlds called to them? Whatever it was, their presence on Karakan was due only to the requirements of their gaolers. They confined their kind to Urac, with a small presence on Plural.

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And the Valleur, after the original and harmless Mysor, the oldest inhabitants in Tennet. Had they chosen Atrudis or vice versa? Why not Karakan, when that world was abandoned when the Nine came armed with prophecy and Taliesman?

What drew them to Atrudis? Its diversity? Karakan had that also. Or the kinship to worlds left behind? Atrudis was like to Valaris, as Valaris was like to past Valleur worlds, and it, too, had known human occupation. Perhaps it was the sense of recognition and the comfort it brought, or perhaps it was the inherent magic of a natural world, like that of Valaris, that attracted them, a sense of security.

Grinwallin still retained that untouched magic … not Valleur built, not Siric, certainly not human, but there.

Grinwallin was a mystery, one that would call to the One as all mysteries did.

Forbidden Legend

The Tennet system was one of many in the vast Glucano Galaxy that hurtled through the universal fabric at an incredible rate, ever growing and changing shape like an elastic band in manipulative hands. This was an entirely natural phenomenon.

There was nothing sorcerous about the Forbidden Zone; that was limited to its inhabitants. Still, magic abounded, the magic of universal order, the spark that could create thoughtlessly and destroy mindlessly.

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The Forbidden Zone was not named due to Mysor habitation – popular belief – or due to ancient evils; it was a legend created by the Valleur to insinuate into the unconscious of those beyond its vast boundaries, much like the fraud perpetuated by Vannis.

In fact, the idea stemmed from that very fraud, for the Arcana myth penetrated the past to reach back into the further reaches of sentient memory. The Arcana myth came to the Valleur of Atrudis also, back in time … and they knew it for what it was. They then conceived of the Forbidden Zone In final analysis it would prove as unsuccessful as the Arcana myth- more so, for the Arcana had a sealed Rift to complete the illusion.

The Murs had come, drawn by the fraud, and enhanced the resident Mysor. The Kallanon came and so had the dreaded Dragon-man- the one it was put in place for, to guard against.

All came because of the object the Forbidden Zone legend sought to protect, the item dating back to the first supreme leader in the universe. The Taliesman. From then to now, age upon age upon age, and while everything had changed, nothing really had. The same war was being fought and was about to become the ultimate battle.

Light versus Dark.

True war.

Map of Lines

This excerpt was removed from The Kallanon Scales:

The Mysor Map of Lines remained an enigma.

Tennet existed, and was in the Forbidden Zone, but what did the lines mean? Lines connecting planets with the appearance of real purpose, thought to show pattern or path, yet proven spurious parallels. A more obscure reason, such as confusion, or a threat of some sort, proved too tenuous. Creed never solved it and perhaps it was as simple as challenge or intrigue … conceived to catch the eye. Perhaps it was meant to draw challengers to root false claimants out. A terrible thought, for many died in seeing it.

The Mysor map was not an invention, however. The positioning of the planets and their names were true reflections. Tennet did hold nine planets in its thrall; five outer and four inner, and the bright, youthful star had varied effect on each.

Plural, Kish and Lucan were outermost, generally known as the Triplets, swinging in similar orbit, visible to each other. All were moonless, but their proximity gifted atmosphere and gravity.

Atrudis was next in line, and possessed varied climate. Hot summers, cold, frigid winters, and an equatorial region that rarely surprised. Not a large world, but not as small as the Triplets, one satellite.

Pharos, the final outer planet, had an elliptical orbit that took centuries to complete. It was true wasteland. Not even the tiniest microbe lived there. It was moonless and usually missing from the night skies of the other worlds.

Of the four inner planets, Mitrayl was furthest out, a huge world with two satellites, Trap and Link, each of those as big again as the Triplets. A strange world. Fresh water and great plains, bubbling, petrified swamps, dead salt oceans, fertile mountains rivalling the most spectacular in the universe, and literally hundreds of active volcanoes. It was as if the forces of good and evil competed daily.

Third lay tiny Cypriot and swinging around it an even tinier moon. Not much was known about Cypriot.

Second from Tennet was Karakan- an enormous world, far larger than Mitrayl. It was a paradise despite its close relationship with the sun, where no one need go hungry. A planet-sized moon, Muriel, orbited benignly, causing regulated tides and steady gravity.

The innermost world was Urac, a desert planet. It had a small moon, sterile and ugly. The next solar flare was bound to see Urac shrivel.

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The Dangers of Technology

You have read the Arcana books and you know Valaris is a world unspoiled by industry and technology, and yet, by the end of the series Valaris has been discovered, it’s on star maps. As Reaume commences, technology becomes an issue …

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There was danger now, more so with every visitor, of technology gaining a stranglehold, but at present it was strictly controlled.

Electricity, now commonplace, relied on solar power, as did hot water. Farming was the mainstay of the economy and used horse and hand as in the past. Travel was the long-winded mode and goods were manufactured in old established ways.

Items such as radios and televisions were putting in an appearance, in itself not a bad thing, but already there were calls for a satellite to facilitate those needs, and that would require industry and the like. Once a satellite was successfully launched, it was a short leap to spacecraft of Valarian design. Nobody desired to sully the countryside with telephone poles and unsightly wires, but that service too was demanded – not the poles, but a system whereby telephonic communication would become a reality, viz. a satellite. Satellites could be procured from elsewhere, designed to suit local needs, but Valaris was a world rich in natural beauty, not money.

Food produced fed the populace and goods were manufactured according to requirement. That would change swiftly if money became the goal. Natural beauty would slowly vanish as it made way to produce more and more and more, and Valarians would become greedy, selfish and uncaring of the environment.

If that state of mind was avoided, still the demand would remain, and that led to what would other worlds think of Valaris if technology was brought in? Would they not anger over the insistence of an unspoilt planet … at their expense? It was potential political dynamite, as it was potential disaster to Valaris’ rich natural inheritance.

These were the very real concerns of the leaders who conversed with Torrullin at the Keep, and there were no simple answers.

Concepts in Reaume

Repentance: The state in which forgiveness is asked, in which regret is sincere and the soul releases its monsters.

 Absolution: To be granted forgiveness, where the sin is both sincerely forgiven, akin to a second chance, and where the sin is also, more profoundly, forgotten.

Sanctuary: A sanctuary is a sacred place, whether of religion or from a personal ideal, but it is also a place of safety for fugitives, dispossessed, abused and hopeless souls. It is both first and last resort and is a state of mind, as well as a place to lay a weary head.

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Bloodline: descent from a common ancestor, parental lineage, family relationship, kinship, racial or national ancestry, direct line of descent, strain, pedigree

Secrets: kept from general knowledge or view, tending not to disclose information, clandestine or confidential, beyond ordinary understanding, mysterious, known or shared only by initiates (rites)

Luvanor/Valaris Time

We have discussed Valaris time HERE, but in Lore of Reaume much of the action takes place on Luvanor and time is different there. Below is an excerpt to give you some insight:

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Time did not run concurrent for Valaris and Luvanor. Where the season had just moved into the first month of winter for Valaris, the beginnings of spring was showing on Luvanor. In fact the dual spring on both worlds when Torrullin returned after a two thousand year absence was a rare event, a parallel that came around every seventy years or so, some years for spring, some for summer and some for winter. Autumn skipped the cycle due to the Valarian practice of shortening their winter and summer seasons by half a moon to realign the calendar to the stars. The fact that it was spring for both worlds caused Teighlar to remark to a number of his Senlu that the Enchanter would naturally choose an auspicious time to reappear.

The days were different also. Where Valaris counted out 22.4 hours, Luvanor held to 24.2 hours, which effectively meant morning on Valaris could be midday or dusk on Grinwallin’s mountain, or some other time in the various time zones of that world. It was not a strange concept at all – no two worlds were exactly alike – but it did make for surprise, particularly as few kept track, an intricacy limited to academics and fanatics who loved to fill their minds with the many facts and figures it entailed.

 

Interview with Cat Dalrish

My name is Blue River Frond and I am from Charikian. We are people watchers and we are scribes. Every being in all time and space has a place and a purpose and to that end we record the words they speak, for posterity … and for insight into the past. Please call me Blue and read my dialogues:

Catalina Dalrish

(I met with Cat in the bar at the Launchpad of Xen III’s largest spaceport)

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Blue: Hello, Cat, please to meet you. Why do people call you ‘Cat’?

Cat: It’s short for Catalina. I like it better anyway.

Blue: I believe you are of the Dalrish family.

Cat: I am, but I prefer not to talk about my family. Nothing good comes of discussing the Dalrish.

Blue: Even your brother Matt?

Cat: Matt is the only good thing in this family.

Blue: I sense your reluctance. Shall we then talk about your talents as a navigator?

Cat: Anytime!

Blue: I hear you studied at Xen’s Navigational School.

Cat: One thing you must say about Xen – it has the ability to instil knowledge and the Navigational School is considered one of the best in the universe.

Blue: Would you say your charts are up to date?

Cat: Absolutely. In fact we discovered some old charts from pre-dome days that have helped our understanding tremendously … but I’m not really allowed to talk about it. We also have the latest duplicates from Beacon’s exploration ships.

Blue: Exploration ships is a bit of a misnomer, wouldn’t you say?

Cat: Yeah. Beacon isn’t known for its benevolence, more exploitation than exploration, in my opinion. Maybe you shouldn’t print that.

Blue: Your brother is a pilot, not so?

Cat: The best. Can fly anything.

Blue: Is it chance that both of you chose careers that take you away from Xen?

Cat: Did we decide together to study in a field that enables it? No. But it isn’t chance either. I think both of us simply understood that was the only way to experience freedom.

Blue: Freedom from what?

Cat: Family, of course, but mostly the domes on this diseased world. If you want to know what real sunlight feels like, you have to leave. Or to feel rain, breathe fresh air. None of that here.

Blue: And yet you return after every journey. Why not simply slip away?

Cat: It comes down to family.

Blue: What do you mean?

Cat: Families always place a sense of duty on your outlook. Sorry, that’s as much as I’m going to say.

Blue: Your next trip is to Valaris, I hear? You and Matt are flying together this time.

Cat: We often fly together, but, yes, we’re on our way to Valaris in two days.

Blue: Have you been there before?

Cat: A few times now, a beautiful world, loads of fresh air and sunshine.

Blue: Easy to slip away there.

Cat: Maybe, but I wouldn’t do it without Matt.

Blue: He wouldn’t want to stay?

Cat: He’d stay in a heartbeat, but has too great a sense of duty to family to simply leave.

Blue: What’s on Valaris that takes the Blue Domian Nine there so often? Nice name, by the way.

Cat: We call our ship the Blue Dom, and it’s produce mostly. We swap solar gear for fresh food … and there’s the tourist aspect, of course. Many pay huge amounts for a few days in clean air.

Blue: Ah, yes. Matt’s actual name is Le Matt, isn’t it? Most Dalrish have a ‘Le’ something – do you?

Cat: The Dalrish women don’t get it.

Blue: Your uncle …

Cat: I’m not discussing my uncle.

Blue: Fine. After Valaris, what’s next for Cat Dalrish?

Cat: Another journey, another chart, who knows?

Blue: If someone were to offer you change, would you take it?

Cat: What kind of change?

Blue: Employment on Beacon, for instance?

Cat: Ah, I don’t rightly like Beaconites, but yes, I’d take it for the cleaner way of life, if Matt did so also.

Blue: Would you do it for Valaris?

Cat: Without thinking twice.

Blue: Have you met any Valleur on Valaris?

Cat: One. His name’s Krikian. He teaches me magic and I teach him science. A great guy!

Blue: Magic?

Cat: Oh, nothing like the big stuff the Valleur can do, just tricks really to entertain the crew on long journeys. Blue, I must go …

 

An alarm sounds and Cat is on her feet and running.

(Next I hear of Cat, she and Matt are both employed by the Valleur on Valaris. One wonders what a techno-poor world wants with a navigator and a pilot able to fly anything, doesn’t one?)

Update: Lore’s Reading Order

As promised, with the LORE short stories all live, here’s an updated reading order. This slots the short stories into the correct places in order to read sequentially, but the shorts can be read separately after finishing the entire series 🙂

  1. The Infinity Mantle (Arcana)
  2. The Kinfire Tree (Arcana)
  3. The Drowned Throne (Arcana)
  4. The Dragon Circle (Arcana)
  5. The Rainbows of Pilan (short)
  6. The Life-Wheels of Pendulim (short)
  7. The History of Ardosia (short)
  8. The Wolves of Valaris (short)
  9. The Kallanon Scales (Reaume)
  10. The Tower of Stairs (short)
  11. The Glittering Darkness (short)
  12. The Nemisin Star (Reaume)
  13. The Sleeper Sword (Reaume)
  14. The Beyond for Vannis (short)
  15. The Dreamer Stones (Reaume)
  16. The Nemesis Blade (Sanctum)
  17. The Echolone Mine (Sanctum)
  18. The Nowhere Sphere (Sanctum)
  19. The Master Mechanism (Sanctum)

(All links in the dedicated pages)

Coming soon: EURUE (World Series)

Currently in progress: FAROCHIN (World Series)

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