Sunday, June 8, 2014

After the Rain ep09 : Houses of the Blooded

05/24/2014
After the Rain

Episode Nine
"Within the Walls"

Houses of the Blooded


Galeo awakens to find  herself held captive.  Her swordsman, Karo, snuck into the vessel where she was abducted and bide his time.  Once alone with her, she communicates with him using the Blessing of Talia Yvarai: The Invisible Tongue.  He did what he could to wake her and warn her of what happened.  He tells her he has the Pearl.  He hands it to her before the captors return.  When they do, they question her about being affiliated with the Orks.  They even invoke the Suaja the way the Ven usually call for the Suaven.  Eventually, her captor comes forward to confront her.  It turns out to be a younger looking Count Kether! The Count refers to her as one of the Ork Ven, and yet reprimands his vassals for treating her as a captive.  He does slide one of the orichalcum rods into her stomach, however, with such a feat of Prowess that it slides into her without hurting or killing her, but if she attempts to run, it would end up tearing her up from inside and tearing apart her unborn child. After asking her to promise respecting his position, he welcomes her to leave the prison and join him for wine.  Any attempts to reach out and speak with Talia continues to fail.  Count Kether offers her Foxwine to help dull any pain.

Count Kether talks to Galeo about a Galeo Silja mentioned in the stories of a book he has been reading. The book is entitled After the Rain and the characters within seemingly match the others characters.  Galeo is the book is not like the other ven.  Instead, she was something supernatural.  The book was written by Jaric Thayl and was meant to be auto-biographical.  He was the only survivor that chooses to share the tale.  He discovers Galeo Silja is the vessel of the Fashuva.  That she hears their whispers as they try to find their Senate hall to corrupt the sleeping bodies of the other Suaven.  But knowing they had escaped beyond the Mistwall, they had found a means to send the vessel across.

"So you meant to say my womb is some kind of delivery?" Galeo asks.

"What I mean to say is, I deliciously enjoyed the book and I now wonder if you are meant to be part of it."

Count Kether admits it might best not to discuss these things again soon.  He warns her that they will be boarding soon.  "When we see each other again, you will remind me?"

"Of what?"

Count Kether disappears instantly, leaving nothing but his clothes on the ground.

Galeo grabs the book of Count Kether and hides it within her clothes.  Two people emerge in the room, completely covered in black and carrying spears.    They flank Galeo without any word, and a third person arrives.  Dressed in well cut clothes expecting nobility, the guy stops between the Vashna, pulls out a tiny spyglass with a chain around his neck and asks, "You the Ork Ven?"

"I have been called that," Galeo responds.

The man slides the spyglass back into his pocket and tells Galeo, "I see no Sorcery about you.  I do see a Bloodsword.  Should I be concerned?"

"No," Galeo responds and to her surprise the man steps forward then bows before her.

"I am Lucius.  I have no Title.  The Senate has sent me to receive you."

Galeo motions at the rod and asks Lucius, "Do you mind the rod?"

"Forgive me, were those the actions of the Tulpa?" Lucius asks.  He admits he is forbidden to touch anything that is a weapon.  The Vashna steps forward to take it away.  "Should something go wrong," Galeo warns the Vashna.   The hand touches the rod and very gently takes it out.

"The Senate has received word of your companions as well.  We have taken the steps to properly meet with them," Lucius informs Galeo.  "The Senate wishes to make some things clear however.."

*

In another ship, Madelyn Yvarai joins her guests for dinner on her airship.  As the group discusses dinner, however,  there is a distinct feeling that something is wrong. Jaric wonders how many of the Ven they see are actually all Tulpa.   Madelyn invites them all to play The Compliment Game.  The game, however is instead used by Jaric as an opportunity to remind her how much she is despised by those who read of the Riddle of Blood.  He even discusses with Seran how Madelyn Yvarai in the tales calls the Storm even if she was no Falcon.  She gave the Storm her own name.  He tries explaining the concept of the Mother of Monsters and of the Dara and the other things they had to deal with.  He mentions how Kithranus died, and his own brother Kyocera attempts to avenge him, only to both discover that Madelyn Yvarai was not behind his death at all.

"Is there someone you think we can trust and should look for?" Haroun asks Jaric.  He shared that in the end, other than finding Quan Wei herself who was the Dara who fought against the demon.  Shanri would reject her and she could fly.  He mentions how the Orks in the story stole away the ven children to save them from the destruction of the Senate city.

Before the dinner even ends, however, there are sounds of the vessel being under attack.  Massive bees are swarming over the ship.  The deck is filled with Vassals attempting to protect the vessel. Seran kills one that finds its way downstairs.  As Nia asks to have it brought to her room to study it, Haroun admits he was able to actually fight against a few of them without running away!

They rush up the deck to find it empty.  Madelyn Yvarai is the only one on the deck.  There is NO ONE else. She is screaming at the Vashna, "It was too soon!  Too soon!"  A woman stands between the two Vashna, wearing an intricate dress that seems to have a half-moon above and below her back.  She looks at Madelyn and inspects her with a tiny spyglass chained around her throat.

"Madelyn Yvarai, we have come to claim your Prisoners."

"This is too soon!" Madelyn hisses at her, "Too soon!  My son.. you took away my son!"

"It is the Senate's decisions when the sun rises and when the sun sets.  All Tulpa by law last only til the sun sets.  The Senate has sent me.  I will as you one last time: Are you welcoming me on board?"

Madelyn sees the group coming out from below the deck and hurls her anger at them, "This is all your fault!  My family!  My loves!  All gone!  Cast the spell again..."

"They have been gone for many years now," the woman tells her and turns to focus on the others instead.

"You are welcomed on board," Madelyn weeps.

The woman walks past Madelyn then upon reaching the others, drops to prostate herself on the ground before them. The two large shapes on her back turn out to be a massive maps.  Seran marks them in her mind as quickly as she could.    She realizes the bottom map resembles the Shanri she knows.

"I address the guests who are Prisoners.  I have no Title.  The Senate has sent me to welcome you.  You may address me as T'gress."

Haroun pushes Jaric forward, "My spokesman shall speak on my behalf."

"The Senate has sent me to welcome you.  However, there are certain things you must know..."

*

Both vessels were visited by a group of Ven currently dulla (veiled) in black, each with a landless Ven seemingly speaking on their behalf.  Each vessel is told that the Senate wishes to properly welcome the newcomers to Davfanna Aldrena.      However they are reminded that they have no lands, and therefore no titles.  But their titles will be recognized in a show of good faith.  In exchange the Senate expects they will pardon all acts that have been done to them prior to their knowledge of them.  Residences have been prepared in the Greatest City at the Center of the World.  Until they are ready to depart and have the means to do so.

Land will be provided for them given it is only proper Nobles have land.  The Senate understands they will not be accustomed to managing a Household and will extend what assistance can be done for the first two Seasons.

"It is a most generous offer.  There were vassals left behind, however..."  Jaric speaks for the others.   Galeo's remarks on her own engagement echo Jaric's.

Both figures remind them that the Laws of the Ven are upheld.  Most especially, "You own what you hold."

*

A reunion.

The airship is surrounded by giant wasps like a security system.   "Do you have their queen?" Seran asked and T'gress seems impressed, "So you know of their mother?"

"I have a... unusual question.." Jaric mumbles.

Haroun nudges him to be quiet.

"How long has Madelyn Yvarai been Master of the Ruk?"    They learn she has been in that role for a very long time. The Senate does not forget what she has done.  And the position has been given to her in response to that.

The two groups are reunited, as as they are with their vassals.   The vessel is larger than anything Haroun and the others have ever seen before.  The vessel does not even look like a galleon, lacking any sail or ship-like dock.  The spokespeople invite the groups to step onto the deck to see a gift from the Senate.

The Senate cause the night sky to be filled with moving stars.  And for a few seconds, they even turn night to day.

Galeo teases Jaric and Haroun about some of the contents of the book she has found.  She, however, finds a page that speaks of Haroun having no choice, taking the sorcerous times within him, and boarding the vessel.  She wonders if the book is accurate in any way.  Jaric admits he never heard of the book.  T'gress and Lucius share that many of them seemingly resemble a popular book called "After the Rain" which they have all read.  They seem different in the other books.  The books, called Dreadfuls, reused the characters and personalities in various approaches to the tales.

*

The ship arrives at a tower.

A waiting party is at the balcony.  The group remembers Ul and how they were once welcomed before.  The ship they ride, however, had no crew.  The balcony shows a formal welcome with a single man dressed as Noble.  The roadmen, seneschals, maids and valets are present.

As they approach to disembark, the two motion to them it is time to meet the others.  The man holds his hands before his chest, a formal show he is not armed.  He bows from the waist to welcome them.  "From the Golden City and the Avenue of Moonlight, I welcome you to Davfanna Aldrenna's fringe towers. I am Nyassa the Red Spider - King of the UnderCity.  I now stand in service to the Senate.  The Dukes council has decreed that you all be given a formal welcome.  May I know who I am addressing?"

Formalities are exchanged, and the Red Spider then asks them all to don cloaks that are handed out.  Those with Bloodswords tie peace-knots onto their hilts to secure the blade.   The Red Spider admits he was formerly a criminal.  He had a finger in everything. The Senate had shown him the light.  He reminds them to speak no dishonesty, but reminds them that they can travel through the city in safely so long as they keep their cloaks over their heads and honestly on their lips.

They are offered a choice to be shown their Residences or to be brought to the Quarter Houses.  The Senate is in session.  They opt for the Quarter Houses.

Some realize they had all been Blessed with The Cloak Deceivious.  They appear as Veth to any onlookers as they travel through backroads, secret passageways, hidden tunnels and side streets to the Quarter Houses.  They notice how different and... crowded life is in the City.  Galeo even muses how the young children are Blooded and "did not even earn it."    Seran keeps an eye out so none veer away from the group as they travel.    Jaric struggles to wrap his head around the concept of Urban Ven.    They even witness a woman emerging from a tavern, eyes pitch black, hands bloodied, then as a knife drops from her hand, her eyes are back to normal.  Revenge is granted.

Nyassa has them declare their names as they reveal themselves in the Quarter Houses.  Even the Baron Ato is with them.  Jaric however hisses asking why the names should be declared.  He even muses "I am Gaius Mwrr"  but the cloak drops.  Nyassa asks if there is anything else.. then stops himself, correcting himself and says, "My duty is done."

Galeo realizes Nyassa is a Horse.

"It's too much like home."

"Its too much like a story."

"Its hideous."

"Its like how if we all lived in a single castle."

The group sees most of those present in the Quarter Houses are all in White clothing.  Among them, however, someone emerges dressed in all Yellow.  The man stares at them and smiles.

"You're the ones from the veil! I knew you would come!"

"And you are?"

"Kyocera..." the man grins.

"The brother of Kithranus?" Jaric asks.

"No one believes I am him!  But it really happened.. And know you are here... It is truth!  They will believe!  You are PROOF"

"Proof of what?"

"That she is what I claim her to be.  The woman in red!   I wished.. I wished the people in book were real and here you all are."

"You wished from the woman in red that we become real?"

"She's not a woman," he hisses.  "She is a Demon."



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