To Solidify the Mist: Cp12

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Twelve

I picked up the book, but Orintious came to take it from my hands. “You need to get some rest, Vernallor. By morning this book will probably be in horrible condition, as I expect a good portion of my men would have read it.”

Heratin said, “They’re getting paid to read?”

“I want you to know that a good number of my men only serve me because I am your brother. One of the reasons I know about your world and pantheon is because I listen to my men speak of it. They care for you, Heratin. For me you are just an annoying brother, but for them you are a divinity that annually goes through the death and rebirth rite to proclaim a number of good things about the lives of their families. For you to be captured, or even possibly killed, is something they really do not want to happen.”

“So, they can be trusted.”

“To a man.”

Heratin turned to have Ochally rush to his side, then he said, “Then I will get my rest. You make certain to allow them to attend the celebration next year.”

Our sister said that she would get some rest as well, but Orintious called her over. “Okay, Mochsha, I need to know. What exactly did you contemplate all those years? Don’t tell me family, because you are not the one coming up with ideas here.”

I saw her aura change to red, but as before when looking at the older brother there was a brightness to her color. “That was an insult, Orintious.”

“I really don’t care at the moment, Mochsha. We can make up with each other later. Now, answer the question.”

She began unbuttoning her blouse. I thought the act was strange, but held my place as Orintious simply glared at our sister. She then began undoing a number of simple necklaces. They appeared of stone. She had the older brother hold out his hands, then dropped them into his possession. After indicating that she had removed them all, Orintious began looking at each.

He stopped on one, and commented, “I recognize it.” Tears then began to show in his eyes as he said, “I’m not going to say that I did not trust you, Mochsha, but only that I was looking for truths. If we are brother and sister, I mean by blood, then these would apply to both of us.”

“Your words touched me, Orintious. They began to touch me even more when I began to realize certain connections between us. Your longing to know became my longing to know. As with most searches for such knowledge, I gained little, but just the search brought comfort.”

He handed them back to Mochsha, causing her aura to change to blue, as she said, “I guess the two of us can go to Father about knowledge of these. Most religions have books to guide those searching. These were scattered about with the bones in the chamber in which I was sealed. I cannot say that they represent all the deities, but I felt a sense of peace in knowing that I shared space with others who had been trapped unjustly. I feel these are fellow prisoners, so might have gotten mad at you if you kept them.” As she began separating them I assumed to put them back around her neck, she lifted a couple to say, “These were the most common.”

“Did you sense good or evil from them?”

“Strength, conviction – they were not ashamed or humbled.”

“I have to say those are good spirits to have with you.” Orintious stepped back, then commanded, “Vernallor, escort our sister to her room, then go to your own. Get some sleep, both of you.”

Mochsha put the necklaces in a pocket of her skirt, then came to my side. Not really having anything else to do, I walked with her out the door. I saw men dressed in a strange type of armor that I felt represented a connection to Poseidon, but along the path to our rooms I also saw those of Orintious’ army. I thus dropped off Mochsha at her room truly feeling that she would be safe, and went to my own feeling that I could indeed get some rest.

I awoke to Ochally shaking me. As I rubbed my eyes, she opened the curtains then checked my belongings for what she felt would be the best suit. She did not seem pleased with what she found in my luggage, so pointed to an outfit tossed over a chair.

“Heratin looked through some closets seeking some better clothes for you. I really did not like his choice, so was seeing if you have anything better.”

I replied, “After a week of the festival, then this travel, I cannot say that my clothes are at their best.”

“Yes. Depending on where we stop tonight, and exactly what Heratin has planned, I might make the effort to wash some of these for you. I need to wash some of Heratin’s things as well.” Softly, she added, “Honestly, I need to wash some of my own as well. You men can be a bother.”

She told me that breakfast would be ready soon, then left. I got up to look at the outfit expecting it to be in the loose style common in Heratin’s outfits. It was however mostly leather pieces that took me a while to figure out how they went together. The final look was more of a hunter’s outfit intended to provide some protection from the dangers of moving through rough terrain while allowing the limbs some freedom. I actually liked the way I appeared, and left for breakfast thinking to thank Heratin for his choice of clothes.

Before I reached the dining room, Orintious spoke from where he was talking with some of his men. “Good choice of clothes, Vernallor. They might get heavy on your before the day is through, but I believe you will be glad to have them on you.”

I asked, “You know where we are going?”

Some of the men laughed as the older brother admitted, “No, but we have been moving between worlds long enough to have an idea. Since we are not certain, it is felt that whoever is trying to follow us will be completely confused.”

“Well, I have to admit that I did not study inter-planar theories. Father tried to teach me some, but I could tell that it was a topic that even bothered him.”

“He knows the danger in that study, Vernallor. Father is old enough to have witnessed some things almost lost in the annals of time. Still, that is where some of us seek to make our lives, so things about moving between worlds needs to be learned. If you hear us stop to discuss things about the route we are taking, you can try and make sense of what we are talking about if you desire.”

I really had not enjoyed the discussions with Father about how the various worlds were distributed, so simply told Orintious that I desired to get something to eat. He slapped me on the back and told me to go get some food. I entered the dining room to see Mochsha already eating, although Heratin was only sitting and drinking something with Ochally in his lap.

“Well, what about that outfit? Tell me, Ochally, do the clothes make the man or does the man make the clothes?”

She said, “You do look good, Vernallor.”

I replied, “I will tell you at the end of the day whether I like it.”

Heratin said, “And at the end of the day I will consider your opinion to have merit. Now, get some food.”

Minchell directed me toward a seat, and I allowed her to prepare a plate while I asked Heratin a question. “Do you know anything about inter-planar theory?”

“Some. I mean, I do spend time with Father during the year. Orintious however has been moving between worlds since before I was born, so you can trust him to find his way.”

Mochsha wiped her mouth, then said, “He was doing it before I was born, Vernallor. How was your rest?”

I accepted the question as just part of the normal chatter at the beginning of the day. Seeing Minchell set a plate of food before me, I took to making simply replies between bites of food as I would do with Father. Seeing Orintious’ lady serving us, I wondered about the older brother. He however never showed with Heratin simply asking a question of Mochsha and me as we finished our meal about being ready for travel.

We were directed into a large parlor that I felt was used for dancing, recitals, or other forms of entertainment. All the soldiers were present, but even with their number there was plenty of space to move around. Orintious had Heratin perform a simple rite praising Poseidon. While all of us did repeat certain statements, I saw a number of soldiers show more knowledge of the ceremony in that they duplicated some of Heratin’s actions in other parts of the service. As things came to a close, I however saw a shimmering sphere come into existence with Orintious directing us to pass into it.

When the elder brother came through, he asked a general question about what was seen. A number of replies came that all appeared normal. Orintious then pointed in a direction, and the soldiers began moving. I took off with them while looking around for what might have been seen.

We moved through a very rocky terrain. Considering that we were seeking a mountain fairy, I felt it was proper that we would be moving up in elevation. I thus became confused when we again changed worlds to this time move through a bog on the edge of a lake with no rises of land in sight. One world had us holding hands as we took unified steps through a darkness. Some lit torches, only to find the flames to be black even though there was a sensation of heat. Only the light of Mochsha gave us any indication of our path, although many men spoke of closing their eyes in order not to make out things they imagined to see. We ended our day upon the shore of what we all considered to be an ocean, and as I moved about I could not help but wonder at the route we had traveled.

Hearing Orintious ask me if saw any suspicious birds, I replied, “No, but I see no signs of mountains either. Aren’t we looking for a mountain fairy?”

Some of the soldiers laughed, with the older brother having a smile on his face as he answered, “The Hantarrow Forest is nowhere near mountains either, Vernallor. That actually has us at a disadvantage, in that we are back to our original plan of heading to Prevokan and hoping to get directions from there.”

Heratin said, “And that is bad. One, the entity that Mochsha was looking for had turned out to be killed, and she was captured. That means the area is dangerous. Second, we actually mentioned Prekovan when we were there to make the rescue.”

“We are hoping not to have to go into the town, but able to look around and see any distant mountains.”

I had to say, “That does sound like the better thing to do for us and for those of the town.”

“Glad we agree. Now, I have men preparing to fish, as I would like something fresh for supper. If you would like to fish, feel free to work with my men.”

I saw soldiers taking off their uniforms, and agreed that I did not want my clothes wet either. Before I took action, I however looked at what my siblings were doing. Mochsha was with Heratin discussing something, and Orintious had moved off to speak to some of his men. Hearing some of those preparing to fish make some exclamations, I became worried seeing a distant splash then a jet of fire that seemed to have been sent in our direction.

There is more to learn, but at least they are not quitters.