People in the Mist
I awoke feeling groggy, but I got myself moving. Indeed there were texts set on my desk, but my mind was not in any condition to work with them. I showered, did what was necessary to make myself presentable, then grabbed a book as I went into the kitchen. No one had yet fixed any coffee, so while it was being made I poured milk over some fruit and ate hoping to get myself in the mentality of getting to work.
As luck would have it, I had grabbed the text on the differences in divine and arcane magic. It quickly went into a deep presentation of certain basics in the two sources of power. While the writer fully intended to go even further into the topics, I found myself having to realize certain problems in the situation that I did not feel capable of addressing. As luck would have it, I had not brought a notebook, so was attempting to get my mind to accept that I needed to get back to moving when Thursdeck came into the room.
“That does look healthy,” he said, “but would you require anything more?”
“No,” I answered. “This would do, but the coffee should be ready.”
As he fixed me a cup, Ochally came into the room asking me what I wanted for breakfast, but I realized the lady had certain blessings I needed. I told her to take a seat. While surely sent to make breakfast for Heratin, she obeyed my command. As she fixed her eyes upon me, I asked her what I felt I needed to know.
“Ochally, why would what you would do not be good enough? I know you can be dangerous. I have seen it. Why would you consider casting an arcane spell?”
While she probably wanted to ask her own questions, I appreciated that she answered mine. “I wouldn’t. I am a divine gift to Hera’s child. To do anything that does not demonstrate my connection to the goddess or Heratin is against my calling.”
“The same should be true to a priest, right? Especially a high priest.”
“Definitely a high priest. Someone with diverse gifts could surely provide some benefit to the church, but only those solely dedicated to the aspects of the god or goddess, and demonstrating those aspects, should be put in charge of a major holy site.” As if knowing what I was going to say, she added, “Not that every religion is the same, Vernallor.”
To assure we were on the same topic, I asked, “Did Heratin tell you about what happened yesterday?”
“Of course he did. You should know that Heratin talks a lot.”
As if to verify that statement, my second oldest brother walked in saying, “You’re keeping Ochally from making my breakfast, and yours.”
“You have other wives,” I replied. “I have need of Ochally.”
The young lady said, “We all have the same status, Vernallor.”
“And you all can make breakfast. My valet can make breakfast. I traveled with you, Ochally. I have the best relationship with you.”
I kept my focus on the young lady as Heratin said, “No, Thursdeck. I do not want you making breakfast. As Vernallor said, I do have other ladies.”
As he left calling for another of his wives, I asked, “Ochally, what would it mean if you felt a need for an arcane source of power? Apostasy?”
She replied, “I cannot imagine ever denying Hera, Vernallor. If I felt the need for anything outside the blessings of my goddess it would only be because I wanted my actions to not be associated with her. For some reason I would feel the need to get something done that I sought to stay separate from my life with Heratin or Hera.”
As Heratin came back in with a couple more ladies, I asked, “Have any of the wives ever turned against you?”
He answered, “No. They haven’t.”
“Any of them simply left the service of Hera?”
“I would say death, but that should actually have them solely committed to my mother.”
Hearing the ladies agree, I asked, “And the same would be true for a priest, especially a high priest?”
Ochally said, “That may not be true for every god on every world, Vernallor.”
“How about the world we were on, Heratin?”
My brother replied, “Oh, he over-stepped his bounds. The last thing you should suspect is apostasy however. I am not saying that it does not occur, but only that we are not the people they would call if it did. Something else is going on, something that only a special mercenary could resolve. You give Orintious what information you can, and let him deal with the particulars and how much to charge.”
Father entered the room and said, “Heratin is correct, Vernallor. Get something to eat, then get to work.”
Accepting the words, I had to say, “Well, thank you, Ochally, and thank you Heratin for allowing me to speak with Ochally.”
The lady rose from her seat saying, “I am not a slave, Vernallor. I am his wife, so your sister-in-law. We can talk with each other.”
Heratin said, “The thanks was still appreciated, Vernallor.”
I replied, “The breakfast will be as well.”
Periods where I could socialize with family I did enjoy. While I interacted with most of my siblings, having Father with us made the time special for me. It was not that he was absent from our lives, but after we grew to a certain age he tended to allow us the freedom to go our own ways. While I was still a minor, Father did not stress the importance of his lessons over the work I was doing. While I was doing stuff that could be said to be educational, I knew from speaking to my siblings that they were able to do the things they found to fit their personalities once they could be said to have some concept of who they were. Being young enough to still feel a need for family, or just having a personality where I enjoyed the company of those I knew well, I cheerfully socialized while having breakfast.
Back in my room, I focused on the other historic texts. I accepted the information that my siblings provided, so did not put any emphasis on the divine and arcane issue. What I found was almost no mention of Nortelact or Neslare. Considering those were the two who were to be married, I suspected there would be a lot of interest in the strange happening in the occasion along with their lives in general. There were times I checked things to assure I had the histories of the proper time period. I finally sat back accepting the problem was not the usual troubles of those preparing to gain positions of authority.
I found myself with the usual difficulty of those wanting to learn of some of the minor characters of the past. While Melarintha was the second daughter I felt learning of her should have been easy. With her name being cut into the trunk, she surely had some value. I however had no note of having found her in the texts. Looking over my notes I however found myself confronting a number of names effectively disappearing from the annals of history.
Thursdeck had been doing things with my fishing equipment. I had to admit that I tended not to straighten out things until Dechapper spoke to me of going out again. I could only assume that my valet considered my leaning back in my seat to provide him with an opening to speak to me.
“Master Vernallor, Honored Heratin left with his ladies, although they mentioned leaving a cake for you and Lord Galabur. Having said that, let me say that you probably should eat something. It is well past what you should consider mid-day.”
I looked at the clock, then made a decision. “Don’t worry about me, Thursdeck. I should have a good dinner.”
“It is my job to worry about you, Master Vernallor.”
“No. It’s not. You are not my bodyguard. I am not saying you are not willing to act in that capacity, but that is not your job. Now, I doubt where I am going I will stay up late.”
After allowing Thursdeck to approve my outfit, which I did want to be a little more distinguished than casual, I set off to the front of the house. Eskrion Assimilations was the primary financial institution used by my family. There were others, but those had only local affiliations. Eskrion Assimilations stayed active on a multitude of worlds, and had survived for centuries. With my father being millennia old, those that had survived as he had gained his trust. Arriving at the front of the main office, I simply waited to be recognized.
As an account manager escorted a person out, he looked to me and asked, “Can I help you, Master Vernallor?”
I replied, “Could you simply send a message to Dechapper that I am in the area with the intent to go home with him?”
“If you are need of funds, you should see one of our tellers.”
“No. I am planning on adding to my balance, but as those in this business should know making money is not that easy.”
The one who was leaving stopped to ask, “Who is this young man?”
I saw the account manager look as if worried he would be accused of revealing private information as he answered, “This is the youngest child of the Esteemed Librarian Galabur.”
“So, you have inherited a lot of money?”
That question had been directed at me, which I cheerfully answered, “No. My father is immortal, so that will not happen. I have people telling me I have earned my wealth, but the payoff has been rather grand. To stop now would however not look good.”
The man took out a card and handed it to me while saying, “Well, if you need a partner, or simply an investor, talk to me.”
I looked at the man, and not his card, as I replied, “The matters that have involved me were not the usual kind. The same is my problem at present. I am considering finding those lost to history who should have been major figures.”
“You make the wrong decisions, or wrong friends, and you could do the same. It is nice to meet you.”
As if to make up for telling the man who I was, the account manager said, “That was the secretary for the Prime Minister of this world, Master Vernallor.”
I replied, “I assume that is what the card says.”
“Unless he gave you my card.”
“Please give my message to my brother.”
And Dechapper does help Vernallor.