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    Palantir
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Widderkin - 50. Chapter 50

Chapter 50.

Uirebon felt the eagerness of the gathering to hear what he had to offer and noticed the particular intensity of the quiet companion.

"Information about the Realm Stones was relatively easy to find because they are so fundamental, and because many ambitious Court Lords commissioned personalised treatises on their function and properties. We found a surprising amount of variation in the way they have been used through the ages but almost no variation with their physical description. Kieran's Opal matches the opal described as one of the six so closely we are certain they are one and the same."

"The same six through the ages, Uirebon?"

"Always, Lord Ranevargar. Any loss would result in a dead Realm and there has only been the one occurrence of that."

"And have you learnt much of the history of Dead World?"

"In essence, no. There is a plethora of description about its daunting and dangerous characteristics and almost as much conjecture about the disappearance of the ruling Realm Lord, but the death process itself has never been explained."

"That sounds interesting about the Realm Lord. Can you tell us some of it, Lord Uirebon?"

"Certainly, Mr B. One recurring theory posits that the Realm Lord was lost when he dabbled in experiments trying to control Chaos Energy.

All attention turned to Lady Narello.

"All such experiments are dangerous and the knowledge my Chaos Masters have gained has been hard-won. Even when all known precautions are followed, disappearances occur. The theory has merit in my opinion."

"Another theory suggests the Realm Lord failed to return from a trip to the Human world and a third claims there was a secret banishment from the Realms after an effort to wrest control of the Nexus from the reigning High King."

Woorawa became quite excited.

"The second theory fits with the story my Uncle told us about where Kieran's Artefact came from."

"Artefact?"

"Yes, Lord Uirebon. It’s what my People called Kieran's Opal while we were guarding it."

Ranevargar took over.

"I agree with Woorawa. I think we can preclude the first theory because if Chaos took a Realm Lord his Realm Stone would undoubtedly have gone with him. The other theories both match Woorawa's story of a possible Elven Lord influencing matters in the Human world."

"Lord Ranevargar, I have no knowledge of this story."

"It is not mine to tell ... Woorawa?"

Woorawa was eager.

"My People pass knowledge through storytelling, Lord Uirebon, and my Uncle shared this story as the reason Kieran was gifted with the Artefact. Burrimul and the other Elders discussed my wondrous healing and decided Kieran must be a Great One passing through our country, a Great One with the healing and other powers described in one of our ancient stories."

Eyes turned to where Kieran was nodding his head.

"It was embarrassing being called Great One but Burrimul spent a whole day with us before he made up his mind, watching and testing me with things I couldn't believe."

Woorawa continued.

"Uncle Burrimul became extra certain there was a connection to the Great One when the guardsong for the artefact helped him resist Kieran's Medusa look."

Woorawa laughed at the puzzled looks.

"That’s Rhys's name for the way Kieran can scare people just by looking at them. Medusa was a legendary creature who had snakes instead of hair and her gaze could turn you to stone. Kieran doesn't do that but his look sure can make you feel petrified."

"We call it the Game of Will, Woorawa, and Kieran was always a strong player ... Does your Uncle’s story describe the visitor using such a look?"

"Not exactly, High King, but it does say he had abilities that were so hard to resist they had to call a gathering of healers to take the Artefact away from him."

"Sounds like a Maynor going to Central Australia and trying to take over."

Aglaron looked to Uirebon and Ranevargar.

"I agree with Rhys. Who else but a misguided Realm Lord would seek power in the Human world?"

Uirebon gave his attention to Woorawa.

"Is there other detail to the story, Woorawa? Apparently your people identified the Artefact as the source of power and had the knowledge and strength to take it."

"Not really. Uncle Burrimul might know more but we only heard about the conflicts and the big gathering of healers to end it."

"Despite the High King warning him, Maynor made an unsuccessful attempt to influence you before you joined Kieran. He would have been far more wary if he'd known your people could take a Realm Stone."

Woorawa's head lifted, as did all the companions.

"Yes, they did, didn't they? It’s really amazing because Ranevargar told us that here in the Realms only a High King in full control of the Nexus can do that."

Aglaron queried Ranevargar.

"You are well informed on one of the lesser-known functions of my office, Lord Ranevargar. That is knowledge I thought restricted to my Lore Master and my Principal Adviser."

"Knowledge I gleaned in the dim past, My Lord, knowledge which no longer holds."

"You mean because Woorawa's people also have the ability?"

"It would seem they do, Lord Uirebon, but a third force is now in play, a force which, contrary to all my experience and understanding, could take your Realm Stone in a passing moment and with little effort."

"… A riddle? ... You mean my death?"

"No, Lord Uirebon. I mean Kieran. If he wished to control your Realm Stone you would have as little effect in resisting him as Maynor did."

Three Realm Lords stared in shock. Aglaron recovered first.

"You took Maynor's Ruby, Kieran?"

"Not fully. Just enough to show him that I could ... He didn't like it."

"... So that was why he knelt in submission? Astonishing. But how could you know you had such an ability?"

"Ranevargar and I were experimenting with our Realm Stones and it kind of just happened. I’ll show you if you like, without going all the way of course."

Rhys's laugh sounded in the deathly silence that followed.

"Don't do it, Aglaron. Ranevargar turned so white he gave us all a fright when Kieran did it with his Pearl."

"I will heed your advice, Rhys. Just the thought makes me uncomfortable ... But maybe my own Realm Stone, with its unique connection to the Nexus, is a different story?"

Ranevargar spoke with certainty.

"Having watched the process with Maynor, My Lord, I judge the difference would mean little."

Lady Narello shook her head with an expression somewhere between doubt and concern.

"This ability diminishes the security of our tenure as Realm Lords, Lord Kieran. In the wrong hands it would be a threat to the Council and to the High King."

"Don't worry about it, My Lady. Except that it's connected with my Opal I haven't a clue about where it came from, and I know I can't pass it on. I shared the pattern with Ranevargar and it wouldn't work for him."

Ranevargar acknowledged the searching look from Lord Uirebon.

"Yes, Lord Uirebon. I tried with no iota of success. The process, though appearing simple, was completely beyond me."

"Simple? Surely not?"

Kieran explained.

"I never found it hard but all the practice I had when Ranevargar was kidnapped made it almost automatic."

"You took control of Ranevargar's Realm Stone while he was with Maynor?"

"Well, Ranevargar offered it to me really when we worked out what to do, but I did have to go to Maynor's Castle to actually take it because the Realm Boundaries interfered with my calling."

"Lord Kieran, I am increasingly bewildered. What does calling a Realm Stone mean, and how could you penetrate the Castle wards?"

Ranevargar rested his hand over his Pearl.

"Our visitors know nothing of this venture, Kieran. Share the moments of Krol’s dive and your actions to protect my Pearl. Those memories will outshine any explanation or even a demonstration."

"Hey, include the rest of us, Kieran. You told us but you’ve never showed us the memory."

The imagery transferred and into the minds of the stunned tableau of recipients came Maurice’s message.

"Krol flew mightily, Kieran. Did you realise how close you came to the Castle protections?"

"You mean the Wards? I didn't even know they existed, but when I call like that they don't matter."

"Calling? I have never heard of such a thing. Can you do it with all the Realm Stones?"

"Not straight off, Uirebon. I have to take a significant level of possession before it will work."

Uirebon's thirst for knowledge was too strong.

"Lord Kieran, despite the wariness Rhys advises, I am eager to observe this process of possession and ask for a trial with my own Realm Stone."

"No worries! We’ll make time for sure. But not today because we’re taking a break before we go back to the Central Grove."

"My thanks, Kieran ... If you do go so far as to try a calling I suggest Lord Ranevargar should be with us. It is, after all, an instance of portalling and one of your expressed priorities."

"Hey! We’re a pack of dead heads! ... Kieran, Uirebon’s right. Why didn't we think of that?"

Through the low level of mind sharing Kieran and Ranevargar were holding for the visit, came a two-way flow of excitement and surprise. Rhys was right. How could they have overlooked something so obvious?"

"Lord Uirebon, we’ll make some time tomorrow morning before our activities at the Lake Grove. Your new perspective might be valuable indeed."

Uirebon was really pleased but his curiosity was still strong.

"Also, what can you tell us of the guardsong, Woorawa? I am puzzled that a song can resist any expression of power."

In a moment a rhythmic voice projected strongly and three startled Realm Lords watched Woorawa, with a curiously graceful movement, rise to his feet and face the High King. The eerie sound strengthened in force, if not in volume, and, following an unseen cue, Tan leapt to join in. Seconds later Kieran and Rhys, then Mr B and Ranevargar, were beside them and augmenting the strange chant.

A shiver of sensation passed through Aglaron's body and he too rose as something unknown pressured against him. The Dragon's voice came reassuringly into his mind.

"The companions are joined in their practised version of the guardsong, High King, and Woorawa invites you to carefully test each of them with your Game of Will."

Aglaron immediately decided to project authority rather than fear and, since it was his invitation, started with Woorawa. It required effort to push through the strange barrier of the chanting but then Woorawa signalled for an end with his hands and made a reluctant bow. Rhys and Tan were easier, then, surprisingly, so were Kieran and Ranevargar. The chanting finished and everyone sat down.

"The chant makes me feel as if I am pushing my Will through a fog of obstruction, Lord Ranevargar, but the strength to disable a fetch is not in it. And most unexpectedly I reached you and Kieran."

"Woorawa used a different chant and a different frame of mind on those occasions, My Lord, and Kieran and I relied solely on the chant. The game would escalate otherwise."

"I see."

Aglaron took in Rhys's, oh so confident, smile and did indeed see - an expectation that in a full contest he could end up grovelling at Kieran's feet.

"You have taken this chant for your own purposes, Ranevargar?"

"Kieran and his companions regularly practice their abilities, my Lord, and I am privileged to participate as well as advise. You will all learn a range of chants during your visit. You will see why ... when Woorawa presents his Dragondance tonight."

"Um! ... The Dragondance is still there but I’m changing things so everyone’s involved."

Uirebon's head lifted.

"Everyone? You would have three Realm Lords join a dance they know nothing about?"

Rhys piped up.

"Five Realm Lords, Uirebon. You won't be able to stop yourself. I’m a real klutz at dancing but when Woorawa sucks you in it doesn't matter a scrap."

Kieran leaned happily against Rhys.

"In Realm Lord terms Rhys just proclaimed he’s a clumsy dancer but Woorawa draws him in so strongly he forgets his inhibitions."

Rhys leaned back just as happily while he answered.

"Lord Uirebon, you’d better find some new portalling stuff soon, so we can get home before we all turn into walking dictionaries. Kieran’s already caught it off Ranevargar."

"You’re a twit, Rhys. You make it sound like a disease. How do you expect Uirebon to understand crazy slang words?"

"Crazy? … Since when is speaking normal crazy?"

"Klutz isn't normal. It's probably the first time anyone’s heard it in the Realms, and you made it sound like Woorawa was slurping spaghetti when you said sucked in."

"Is that so? Well you called me a twit, and I bet they’ve never heard that either, so you’re crazy too."

"Which proves I haven't caught Dictionary Disease from Ranevargar."

Ranevargar smiled at the rather bewildered Realm Lords.

"I have learnt that this is called stirring, Uirebon. It is a curious communication pattern where derogatory statements are in fact an expression of friendship."

"And what of this Dictionary Disease? It has a sense of the derogation about it."

Ranevargar continued.

"Our speech patterns have a tendency for over elaboration and precision according to the companions’ perception."

Rhys laughed.

"He means we speak more plainly, Uirebon."

"I see, and very directly too ... Lord Kieran, how much of your power do you delegate to the Dragon? Sharing control of a Realm is new to Faerie."

"As much as he needs, Uirebon. He knows how to manage all the things it will take me years to learn."

"And does he connect to the Nexus through your Opal?"

"Sort of! I'll show you … Aggh! What's that for?"

That, was the dig in the ribs he’d just received from Rhys.

"You’re not showing him anything, Kieran, not till you’ve had some relax time. You’ve been doing brain stuff all day and we’re going for a swim. Uirebon can talk to Maurice while we’re in the water."

"Not today. I am joining you in the Oasis."

Joining wasn't quite the right word because everything stops when a mighty Dragon suddenly breaks from his watchful statue demeanour and bounds exuberantly to disrupt the shimmering calm of the water.

"Holy cow! Look at that! Come on, everyone! … You too, Ranevargar ... and bring the visitors with you."

***

Copyright © 2018 Palantir; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Nothing like knowing the young lord that demanded inclusion as a lord, surely now, could have your stones just for a calling! Reality check? I just hope the young lord and his council of companions don’t relax their guards too much.

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Everyone swimming with the Wyrm; developing familiarity, awesomeness and cunnning scribbling scribe!  As always another exciting chapter from our extroridinarily enchanting enlightener.

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23 hours ago, IBEX said:

Precioius how Ranevargar clutched his Pearl! 😉

 

You touched a chord with this comment. :)

 

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21 hours ago, Daddydavek said:

More revelations which just show there is so much to learn....

Lol - it never ends! - Well - I guess we are covering seven Faerie Realms as well as a fantastical part of the Human World.

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21 hours ago, JCtoGO2 said:

Another excellent chapter. However again as usual you leave us wanting to learn more.

Thank you. :)   And, yes, the story has become more complicated than I ever expected.

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21 hours ago, ColumbusGuy said:

Uirebon and Agleron are going to be in for some surprises next day when Kieran demonstrates taking realm stones, among other abilities.  At least he seems unable to pass the power on.
So now we think Wurowa's people overcame a rogue Elven lord?  That puts a whole new twist to both human and Elven history I believe.  Were they once part of the Dead Realm?  Or does their power stem from the fact that they are among one of the oldest cultures and lineages left largely intact since migrating out of Africa?
Just when we clamor for more answers, Maurice says it's time for a swim!  Sigh....

:wizard:   :read:   🐈

Yep! It's a steep learning curve for the visiting R Lords but they're well on their way.

Interesting thoughts about Woorawa's People - I think your idea about ancient lineage could be on the track - Kieran's Realm was dead for 9000 Realm years so the Opal was carefully guarded for about 40,000 of our years - amazing.

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17 hours ago, Philippe said:

Nothing like knowing the young lord that demanded inclusion as a lord, surely now, could have your stones just for a calling! Reality check? I just hope the young lord and his council of companions don’t relax their guards too much.

It sure made Lady Narello think! :)

I'm getting pretty good vibes about the positive relationship developing with the visiting R Lords.  Lol - with Mighty Maurice as a guard a bit of relaxing's probably OK - and Ranevargar and Kieran are also keeping a light state of merge as a precaution.

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16 hours ago, Dathi said:

Everyone swimming with the Wyrm; developing familiarity, awesomeness and cunnning scribbling scribe!  As always another exciting chapter from our extroridinarily enchanting enlightener.

Wyrm in the Water!   Curious Callings!   Loquacious Lords!   Chanting Chappies!  Allegorical alliterations!

Hm! That last one's a bit suss.

Thanks, Dathi. :)

 

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2 hours ago, Palantir said:

Wyrm in the Water!   Curious Callings!   Loquacious Lords!   Chanting Chappies!  Allegorical alliterations!

Hm! That last one's a bit suss.

Thanks, Dathi. :)

I can only rely on my old crutch, in summary:

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit!

Edited by Philippe
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11 hours ago, mutch71 said:

 A great chapter 😁

once again I’m finding myself lost in one of you stories 😃

Thank you - and your response touches my heart. :)

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