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?)

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The Beyond for Vannis

The final short story (for now!) for Arcana and Reaume: The Beyond for Vannis

When the valley Torrke goes supernova, three men die. One of those is Vannis Valla, but death is never an ending.

This is Vannis’ Afterlife; where does he reopen his eyes in his Beyond?

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The Glittering Darkness

The short story about the history of the Dragon species is now available!

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In another realm, scaled beings of might and majesty go to war. They are dragons and a Dragon is as nothing if he is not king of his domain.

This short story tells more about the great reptiles which appear in the LORE series.

The Glittering Darkness

Take His Hand

Peace of the soul you may never find, Rayne, or, in finding it, find yourself unable to hold it close for long, but know you will never be alone, even when it seems that way, for your blood will take many forms, now, and far into the future. Some will cause pain and sorrow, while others will give you reason not only to live, but to hope. I speak in riddles, I know, but you will know whereof I speak when the time is right. You will forget now, but many tomorrows past my words will return to you. Trust this, reach out to him, take his hand, for he will make you whole and he will return to you the essence of the other; he whose loss you will know to the end of days.

Mantra’s cryptic words to Rayne, he would become The Enchanter

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Galactic Time Zones

Luvanor/Valaris time:

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.

The Sleeper Sword

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Redemption Prophecy

Redemption will come in a form unknown to us and it will be a living sentient thing. And in its maleness will reside a tempest; The One, who shall have power to lead light over dark to overcome it eternal. Beware the passion of such beauty. We shall leave our haven in search of this sentient to bask in the light. Shall we return with it or shall the Dark Dragons follow to annihilate its glow?

Prophecy of Dragonne Queen Riana, 23rd of the title

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The Kallanon Scales

14 Sacred Sites

These are the words of Tristamil Valla:

“Fourteen is the universal number upon which magic is based. We build fourteen sacred sites per world in keeping with that philosophy, and that is the first tradition. The second is the order in which we erect them. First is the Lifesource, then the Throne-room, thereafter the rest. The third tradition is the passing of the Dragon from Vallorin to heir at the appointed time. The fourth is the safekeeping of the Oracles; the fifth, the scrying of a newborn’s name and the sixth is this ceremony of today. The seventh is the learning of sorcery beyond what we inherently know. The eighth is the absolute autonomy of the Vallorin; we are not, nor were we ever, a democracy. The ninth is Nemisin’s runes, known only to the House of Valla, and the tenth is our longevity both natural and enhanced. The eleventh is our total intolerance of darak …” He stumbled there, but recovered well. “The twelfth is a belief in prophecy and the thirteenth … we regard ourselves as master-builders, and build with heart, soul and magic. The fourteenth? For as long as one Valleur lives, we were first and will be last in all things.”

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The Kallanon Scales

The Wolves of Valaris

This fourth short is short indeed, but it perfectly showcases Torrullin’s dilemma regarding his sons.

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As two boys ask about wolves, their father wonders which twin will one day bay at the moon to summon the darkness.

Tristamil and Tymall are eight years old, but one day they will be men. This short tale is an insight into their father’s deepest fears.

 

The Wolves of Valaris

Interview with Rees and Rayne’s Mother

Rees

(Blue spoke to many Valarians in the week following the drowning and destruction of Galilan, Valaris’ capital city. After, when she collated her notes, she realised she had spoken to Rayne’s sister)

 

Blue: Hello! Forgive the interruption, but I’m moving from plot to plot informing people where to find food and fresh water. Have you been told?

Rees: You’re welcome. Come closer. We’re aware of the relief centres, yes, but I overheard others asking … you’d have to keep moving and keep asking.

Blue: I’ll do so. ‘We’? You have others with you? Are you coping?

Rees: A friend and her husband stay with me … my m-mother didn’t … we found her in the cellar with … sorry.

Blue: I’m sorry, too. What’s your name?

Rees: Rees … yes, after the priest.

Blue: Ha! Who named you? I’m guessing your father.

Rees: Yes! And my brother Rayne still teases me about it!

Blue: Where is he? Will he be joining you? Um, do you know if he …?

Rees: Rayne was here earlier, thank God. He’s fine, doing his thing. What’s your name?

Blue: Blue … but don’t ask me why! I’m only glad it isn’t ‘Green’ or ‘Pink’!

Rees: I’ll bet! And do you have somewhere to stay in all this?

Blue: I do, thank you … it will get better, I hope you know that. Sooner than we can believe right now.

Rees: I hope so. Thanks. I suppose you must be on your way. Good to meet you, and good luck.

Blue: Luck to you also.

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Rayne’s mother

 

(After checking her notes, Blue found a parallel in her interviews in Galilan. The place she interviewed Rees after annihilation was also the place she spoke briefly with an older woman before the destruction of the city and after the soltakin commenced the campaign of terror. She swiftly deduced she had had words with Rees and Rayne’s mother and was thus one of the last to have seen her alive)

 

Blue: My lady, you should be indoors. It isn’t safe.

Rayne’s mother: Can’t call anywhere safe, my dear. Walls and closed doors will not stop those fiends.

Blue: Lady, is there someone with you? Your children?

Rayne’s mother: Essie from next door. We keep each other company through everything good and bad. My children have their own lives … my daughter gallivants in the country as if she’s a spoilt rich girl and my son flits everywhere trying to be Valaris’ saviour … forgive me, I find I’m disappointed that they saw fit to … to …

Blue: Abandon you?

Rayne’s mother: Forgive me, no. Rees is a good girl and will be here as soon as she can. And Rayne … well, Rayne is what he is, isn’t he? How dare I deny that? How dare I deny our people his abilities?

Blue: My lady, where is Rayne now?

 

(The woman unfortunately returned indoors then, perhaps realising she had revealed too much. Blue has not discovered her name, and there is no image on record of Rayne’s mother)

 

Interview with Dantian

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(Blue could not interview Dantian, Vallorin of the Valleur beyond the Rift, for the time between rift tear and his capture was too fleeting. Blue subsequently spoke to Dantian via a visitation from the realms beyond. The Valleur, it is told, can do this. Whether or not you believe what is recorded below, these are the words as remembered upon waking.)

 

Blue:  My Lord Vallorin, thank you for appearing. We believe others need to know of your sacrifice.

Dantian: I do not regard what happened as a sacrifice. My destiny was written into my name at birth.

Blue: The Valleur scry a newborn’s future and apply a name to suit, right? Is that how you became aware of what you call your destiny?

Dantian: When one grows with a name that is a destiny, one accepts.

Blue: I cannot believe it is as simple as accepting.

Dantian: It was not easy.

Blue: Your brother Dante- what was his destiny?

Dantian: To be the father he was.

Blue: Ah, yes, he had a daughter. According to our records, she did not survive the burning of Ardosia.

Dantian: There are different kinds of death, Blue. Her survival may not be as you trust it to be. Mark the future for news of this daughter of the Valleur.

Blue: We do enjoy a challenge. We shall watch.

Dantian: My time in this form grows short.

Blue: And before you dissipate, my lord, could you tell us what lies beyond?

Dantian: Life. Salvation, if you desire it. Redemption, is you require it. Choice, where before choice was a relative factor.

Blue: I assume you speak now of a destiny voided.

Dantian: Destiny fulfilled. And beyond it new choice. Life.

Blue: We need not fear death?

Dantian: Fear it. What you do in flesh echoes in these realms …

 

(Dantian’s visitation ended then, although Blue claims the essence of his presence lingered for a time. From that lingering she claims to have absorbed more of the man’s personality.)

 

Blue: A footnote, reader: Dantian was a man who loved life despite knowing his destiny. He lived large and loved as much. We are the poorer for his passing. I wish I had known him.