Week 46: The First Council
We left our heroes at their ranch on Hellene, having recently acquired
several new guests. They are survivors or descendants of survivors from
the dragontrooper raid on Destine, which scattered Destinos and other
folk of the nephilim all over the geography and history of a world
dominated by draconian races and called Yazatlan.
This whole problem is getting bigger than we feel we can handle by ourselves, so we decide the next thing to do is start attending the Councils in Vinyagarond. That way, we can get a better understanding of how things stand with Lanthil and the New Blood, who are likely to get heavily involved in this business with nephilim and dragons.
Since Braeta first showed up between the first and second councils, and since no one seemed to recognize her, we invite her to not court timelock by trying to attend the First Council now. She readily agrees. Instead, we'll take Desmond as a representative nephil. He agrees cautiously, remarking that, as a member of the outcast Nephil Remnant, he's not someone Alvirin is supposed to do business with. that's all right; Alvirin doesn't show until the Second Council.
The gargoyle likewise showed up between councils, so Tom casts a glamour on it, disguising it as a large raven.
Mirien likewise prefers to stay away, for chronological reasons.
So, after letting everyone relax and sleep a night, we all get dressed up and step into the Emerald Metaphor, which still has a door parked in the front room. From there, Tom opens the other door into the back yard at Vinyagarond. It's night there. Instant jet-lag. Oh well. We see a couple of figures vanishing around a corner. Tom supposes them to be Nick and Alag, whom he dropped off some days ago (for him), or a few seconds ago (for them).
We step out, and a voice hails us: "Chris, is that you?" No, it's us. She recognizes all of us except Desmond and his "raven," which is what we wanted. We tell Daewen that Desmond is here to get some "time-dependant information" from Chris and leave it at that. She doesn't press it, probably suspecting a time-twist is involved. She greets Desmond, then greets his "raven" with a hearty caw in Ravenish. When the gargoyle just flinches and blinks, she blushes. She could have sworn it was a sapient raven. (Half right. It's sapient.)
She tells us we can use the Grey Room and the two next to it (only three rooms for ten of us, but space is short here at the moment) and sends us in to meet the others. We wander through a few halls, hearing distant laughter, and come to a large parlor. There we find:
Aelvenstar, Daewen's husband, an elf from the real Middle Earth.
Jonathan and Melusine, elves and two of Mirien's five parents, he a former Worldbender, she born a fay in ancient Crete.
Trisarin, an alien and the fifth of Mirien's parents (the other two being Aelvenstar and Daewen), now inhabiting a body made of pure glamour and looking like an animated golden statue.
Lorelei McHerron, a Deryni enchantress, originally human, and a veteran of the Diadem campaign, like Tom. Also like Tom, she was on the adventure to New Europa.
Eglantine and Connor, who met and married in the Dream Time, long-time friends of the family.
Hot on our heels enter:
Alag, an elf from Worldbender Middle Earth, and Daewen's grandson.
Chris, an elf, but originally a human time-traveler, and Lorelei's husband.
Nick, an elf, and son of Lorelei and Chris.
Zareba, known as "Z," Nick's wife, a fay, and veteran of our trip to New Europa, where we acquired Katrina and Robbie.
Daewen enters and says we're now only waiting for the other Daewen (her clone), Moranna (her daughter), Suliemon (Moranna's husband), Glorian (her granddaughter), Mithriel, and Mirien. (Ah, no wonder Mirien didn't want to come ... again.)
Except for some of the folk fresh from Hellene, everybody knows everybody. We all mutter distracted hello's, nod, smile, and wander off into groups based on current relative sequence. Sometimes, you've got to wonder if time travel is really worth it.
Tom and Chris converse nervously for a bit, decide they're probably twisted, and bow out. Tom gravitates toward Nick and introduces Desmond. Dafnord joins them, and Tom lets him do the explaining while he tries to work out some of these damned sequences.
Dafnord explains about refugee nephilim, and not telling Daewen yet, and has Desmond recite the bits of epic he recalls about the cities of refuge for the nephilim, in the Kaf mountains.
Nick says he's heard a bit about this during his time at Alvirin's court, but he wasn't really paying much attention. The mountain homes are reminiscent of Olympus. He then wonders about how real Olympus was, and how many versions of it there may be scattered about.
Nick also explains that, officially, Faerie ignores the remnants, fay and nephil. He knows there are some unofficial people who negotiate repatriation of fay remnanteers, but it's all very under-the-table and indirect, as only court intrigue can be in a court about 24 million years old.
At this point, Moranna (also known as "Vanessa" or "the Fan Esse") enters, with her husband Suliemon ... and their son Morniesul. Our heroes have met Morniesul, or they will. That is, they've met a much older Morniesul and went on an adventure to the Terraform Reach with him. This is an earlier edition, and not nearly so mellow. He finds an armchair, settles into it, and starts in on a solid sulk.
Suliemon greets Dafnord, whom he hasn't met. Dafnord, on the other hand, has met (a future edition of) Suliemon, some decades hence in Lanthil. Fortunately, Dafnord is naturally tight-lipped.
This arrival of fellow world-hoppers reminds Tom that he left the pantope door hanging open in the garden. He excuses himself and runs out to move it to the rooms they've been assigned. On entry, he regrets to note dewy footprints entering the door. And not leaving. Damn.
He exits the other door, into Hellene, and asks the house computer if anyone has shown up. Not that it's noticed. He then yells hello, gets Greywolf, and tells him not to be startled if anyone unfamiliar shows up. Greywolf -- whose startle probably got used up in the last two days -- nods. Tom then contacts Mirien telepathically and warns her. She promises to keep a lookout.
Tom returns to the Metaphor, turns the Hellene door to a window (belatedly) and looks around the pantope. No one is in here. Except Salimar, dozing in her bucket, in the tent. He sighs, moves the door up to the Grey Room, and gets out.
Someone cheerfully hails him from the depths of a wingback chair. Since this is the third or fourth such encounter with her, Tom is barely even surprised to find Runyana (a daughter of Daewen who hasn't been born yet). She's curious about any "dirt" flying in the rooms downstairs. Tom hasn't much for her, except that Lorelei and Chris are, naturally, sharing a room, but, unbeknownst to Daewen, currently time-twisted with each other. That's good for a giggle. Runyana is less amused by the news that someone has wandered into the pantope. When she learns Tom is working on the nephilim problem, she can say little more than "Oh!" and "Don't worry, it all works out in the end." Which is about as much as Tom really wants for omens. He goes back downstairs.
Tom resumes his telepathic links and informs the others about the trespasser. Markel and the gargoyle/raven volunteer to guard the door in the Grey Room against further mishap.
Meanwhile, aboard the pantope, Salimar has been roused by the comings and goings. She emerges from her bucket, shapes up, and contacts Tom telepathically. Tom briefs her and asks her to retrocog the pantope's recent history.
She complies, and beholds something kinda primate in an offbeat way, followed by something goblinish, chased by a young elf-woman with a broom, swatting at the first two, which Tom interprets as a couple of Low Petty Fays. All three vanish into the ranch house.
Tom, who has done nothing but re-enter the parlor and stand stock still while the switchboard runs in his head, now turns around and goes back to the Grey Room. There, he passes through the pantope, goes back to the ranch, and tells Mirien what to look out for. Then he comes out again, with Salimar in tow. Back to the parlor.
Meanwhile, in the parlor, Kate approaches Morniesul and asks him about giants in a general way. Or demigods. He doesn't know anything and never breaks stride in his sulk.
Tom approaches Lorelei, who bounces him to Jonathan. Jonathan doesn't know about the cities in Kaf, but reaffirms Nick's remarks about lots of Olympus mockups, and suggests the archives in Elvencrown, or the university library in Dwarrowgard, as places Tom could find out more. The Elvencrown archives might be a delicate job, though, since "day books" and "chronicles" are terribly de classe and gauche in a culture that deliberately ignores dating.
Dafnord continues talking with Suliemon and Moranna. He shows them his sword, Umbra, and tells them the story of its creation by him and Tom in Chaos' Rim. On the subject of nephilim, they remark that they've met a nephil, one Tethycles, in the Dream Time. He was a shipwright, cursed, when Atlantis sank, to stay on land since every ship he boarded would sink until Atlantis rose again. He was able to break the curse in the Dream Time, when a Dream Atlantis rose. They don't know where he is now, but we could look him up.
Dafnord goes on to tell them about Destine and remarks that the refugee nephilim, should they get rescued, shouldn't come here. Across the room, but linked on the telepathy net, Tom swallows his hors d'oeuvre wrong and coughs convulsively. He never dreamed of bringing the nephilim to Vinyagarond! He goes to the bar for an atypical brandy.
Salimar buttonholes Trisarin, the only other alien here, but gets no information beyond "Hi." She then tries Aelvenstar. They get to talking about the Raids that were (and are) bringing elves here from Worldbender Middle Earth. Daewen started them, her children continue them, and thus cause her the current crop of headaches, which this First Council is supposed to do something about.
From there, Salimar moves to Melusine. She is, in fact, an example of the fay remnant, having been born in Crete after the last great severance of Faerie from Earth. Melusine therefore knows a fair bit of remnant history.
Robbie moves in at this point to ask her about nephilim. Unfortunately, she is "only" 5000 years old, and that's after the nephilim mostly departed. Robbie asked her how she managed to return to Faerie, being of the fay remnant. It's tricky. Daewen came here first and was specifically given permission to stay by Alvirin. Melusine and Jonathan came because Mirien is their daughter as well as Daewen's (and Aelvenstar's and Trisarin's. You see, they-- Oh, some other time.) The upshot is that she is here by a sort of benign neglect. It's one of many reasons to consider moving elsewhere, like Lanthil. Alvirin has let us know he rather likes that idea.
Given this state of affairs, Melusine recommends we not discuss Desmond and his folk a lot while we are all still in Faerie. Robbie suggests that we could all adjourn to the ranch on Hellene, if we wanted to have such discussions.
Around now, the parlor starts to empty, as most of the folk head up to bed.
©1984, 1994, 2005 Earl Wajenberg. All Rights Reserved.