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Loose Threads

One Hundred One


            “I don’t know if I can handle not seeing you for five days,” April said from where she laid in the daybed and watched him change clothes. “We have never been apart that long since I moved in with you.”

            Iain’s cloak didn’t want to fasten and he fought with it until he realized that one side had folded under and he was trying to fasten it backwards. “As far as I am aware, you didn’t argue with Ninhursag about this decision. In fact, I think you were involved in making it and you were on her side.”

            “I did and I was.” She sat up. “I seem to be making too many decisions involving you that I personally don’t like. I’d like you to stop making me do that.”

            “I’d like to not have you have to make those decisions too.” He finally got the cloak fastened properly and looked up, relaxing slightly at her smile. “But I don’t think I made you have to decide that you want me to look for love while I’m gone.”

            “Iain, I love you, flaws and all. If I stopped having sex, I would eventually go feral. You are not a pokegirl and you cannot go feral, but you can stop being a good bad man and just become bad. And if that happens, I’ll still love you for as long as you’ll let me.” He’d stopped moving and was watching her, paying close attention to the earnestness in her eyes and tone. “But you might come back as someone who doesn’t care if I love you or not. And that person might not see any reason to do the reset that you do to refresh your memories so the time you spend here, with us, is uppermost in your mind. Let me ask you some questions. Has our love made your life better, Iain?”


            “Do you think that without our love, your life would have been worse?”

            “My life would be completely empty without you and the others. Even for me, that would be much worse.”

            “Having experienced our love, would you enjoy having such an empty life?”


            She slid to her feet, wrapped her arms around him and placed her head on his chest. “Then why are you telling me that’s exactly what you’re planning to do for the next five hundred years, when we,” she looked up at him, tears glittering in her eyes, “when I won’t be there to love you? It isn’t your fault you have to do this. Do not punish yourself for it. Even if it were your fault that you had to do this, you still shouldn’t punish yourself for it.”

            He put his arms around her. “I feel like I’m betraying you.”

            “You silly man, you feel that way because you are. But you have to betray us, and we accept that. We want you back, not some person who wears your skin but isn’t you. If I were there alone, I’d have to betray you and fuck other people or I would lose who I am. I might even come to love one of them and, if I did, I know that you would forgive me and still love me if I brought him here.” She smiled slightly. “Just as we will forgive you and still love you when you bring back other women from this trip. And just like you would accept him if I wanted you to badly enough and try to be his friend and even love him as much as you could, we will do that with them for you.”

            Iain gave a great sigh. “If that’s what you want, I’ll try and do it.”

            “Finally!” She lifted his shirt out of the way and wiped her tears off on his chest. “There, now I am the one to mark you last.” She looked up at him again, but this time her eyes were impish. “Come back to me Iain. Come back to me and our girls. Come back for the others too, if you must, but come back to me.”

            “I believe I promised I would always do exactly that.” He kissed her thoroughly. “I will try to send word ahead so you’ll know when I will return and you can be here to welcome me back.”

            April gave him a smoldering look. “If you do that I think I can assure you that I will make you very happy you did that for me.”

            Iain grinned. “I look forward to finding out what that entails.”

            April stepped away from him. “I love you,” she said simply. “Go.”

            “I love you too.” He stepped backwards and the shadows swallowed him up.

            “Theodora, let Ninhursag know he’s gone and start the clock.”


            April headed up the stairs. “As soon as I’m free of the teleport blocks I’ll head home and you and Daya have him to take care of.”

            “He will come back and he will come back to us.”

            “I don’t doubt that.” April walked briskly down tunnel leading out of his lab. “Iain always keeps his promises to me. But it is going to be a very long five days.”


            “May I come in?” The door to Nightraven’s citadel swung open and Iain walked through. “Thank you.” He paused as the door swung shut behind him. “Lady?”

            I will meet you on the north battlement.

            “Very well.” He headed for the stairs. She arrived a few minutes after he did, wearing an unbleached linen T tunic dress that fell to her calves and was belted at the waist along with some leather boots. “Are the People heavily invested in space?”

            “If you are asking about the void between planets, the answer is no. Some very few of the People travel in or live in the void. We have no contact with the lesser race that calls itself the Arcane but we are easily capable of making craft that can travel into the void without needing a spelljamming helm.” She cocked her head. “Why do you ask this question at this time?”

            “I’m trying to be cunning. The People are aware of technology but use very little of it and don’t necessarily understand my level of technology very well, so I’m thinking about using it for some of my spying. Space, or the void, is big and empty so I can hide things in it if I don’t want them found and I can use technology to make sure they’re not easily discovered.”

            “How can this be of use for us?”

            Iain pulled his phone from a pouch on his belt and touched a button on it before offering it to her. “Like this.”

            Nightraven took the phone and peered at it. On it she could see an overhead view of a woman and a man standing on a battlement. The woman was holding something in her hand and her head was bent as if she was looking at it.

            Nightraven’s head jerked up and she looked up at the sky. She hissed loudly. “My wards are proof against outside observation. How?” She did not sound happy.

            “Your illusion that you keep over the castle is very good, but it’s not solid and it lets light pass in both directions so I’m using lidar on a satellite to map this area in detail. It can’t really see us, but it can make out our forms and then it added images from stock footage of me and of you. That’s why you’re not wearing the clothes you’re wearing now, instead you’re wearing the clothing that you wore when you came to my ranch to take me here and teach me how to change shape after I became a dragon and got stuck in that little form. For people that we don’t have visual records of, it’ll use a wireframe so we can see what they’re doing if they’re under a similar illusion.” She was still staring upwards. “I can teach you a modification to your illusion that will prevent anyone else from being able to do this.”

            She looked at the phone again before thrusting it at him. “You will teach me when you return from your mission and we will use this technology against our enemies among the People.” She glanced at him. “Will you use this technology on your mission to gather information?”

            “I will.”

            “Can it hear conversations?”

            “No, ma’am, it cannot. I’d have to drop sensors on a location to monitor things like that and I’m going to be hesitant until I know how easily the People might detect their presence.”

            “We will run tests with Caintigern and me to determine if they can be successfully employed. If they can, we will use them. You will use them during this mission to demonstrate how useful it truly is.”

            Iain nodded as he considered options. Using sensors to record audio and localized video would vastly increase the information he could collect but it would also require a much larger storage footprint for all of the data than what he’d planned for during his sessions with Daya and Theodora. And they would have to manufactured on site since he hadn’t planned on using them, so he had made no plans to have them manufactured by Daya and shipped to his destination. But he could make the changes work, and without having to get too creative. “Yes, ma’am.”

            “Are you ready to leave?”

            “I have some chores to finish up unless you release me from them. They should only take me another two hours or so.”

            “Meet me up here again in three hours.” She turned away without waiting for a reply.

            Three hours later Iain watched as Nightraven opened a portal. She looked at him. “Be careful.”

            Iain had never heard those particular words from her before. “I will do my best.”

            “I expect no less. Now go.”

            Iain stepped through the gate and it closed behind him.


            April steeled herself and knocked politely on the door.

            “You are on time for the appointment.”

            April jumped nearly a meter when the voice came from behind her. She’d checked and nobody had been around before she’d knocked. She turned to face the speaker. “I am.”

            “I like when people are on time.” Caintigern gestured and the door opened. “You are allowed to enter my dwelling for this appointment.”

            April stepped into the house that Theodora had provided and waited for Caintigern to join her. “Has lateness been a problem?”

            Caintigern swept past her as the door shut behind them and headed into a small but neat kitchen. “Iain is never late. You are my first visitor since I came here to see what had happened to my forest and you are on time, so it has not. During the time in my life when I had many visitors, some would ignore history and presume upon my mercy by being late to appointments with me that they had arranged.” She gestured towards a chair on the other side of the kitchen table. “Please, sit.”

            April sat down. “History?”

            “If they had paid attention,” Caintigern said as a tea trolley appeared next to her, “to the history of such events, they would have realized that I did not appreciate having my time wasted and therefore would have little if any mercy for them, regardless of what their excuse might be.” She began serving tea only to stop and look at April. “Understand that I am aware that I am a guest of Grey Clan here and constrained under the rules of hospitality in that regard. If you had been late I would not have taken your life.” Her smile sent a shiver down April’s spine. “That would be rude and would violate the rules of hospitality. I would have instead refused to meet with you.”

            “I see.”

            Caintigern carefully put the teacup and saucer in front of April. “Do you wish to adulterate your tea with juice from grass or the secretions of a lactating creature?”

            April frowned until her twee whispered to her. Sugarcane is a modified grass. “Thank you, but no.”

            Caintigern nodded and pulled her own teacup into place in front of her. “Why did you request this meeting?”

            April took a deep breath. “Please understand that I do not know anything about you and therefore I am not sure about how to approach this, so, if you do not mind, I will be direct.”

            “You are not one of the People and therefore cannot understand the protocols involved in petitioning for something from another of the People and especially from me. The fact that you realize this is excellent and a sign of intelligence. Directness will suffice in the absence of knowledge.”

            “I would like to invite you to join the clan, with everything that it offers.”

            Caintigern looked at her curiously. “What does it offer?”

            “You are one of the People and you are alone. If you forge a relationship with Iain, since he is a drake of the People, and have a child, we could help raise it. Being a mother alone with even one child can be a great deal of work and sometimes maddeningly frustrating.” She sipped at her tea. “And you could help us when we all work together with Iain to help with what will have changed when he returns from his trip.”

            “Of what trip do you speak?”

            April blinked. “Iain is gone on a trip for the next five days. I thought you knew about it.”

            “I know that he told me he would be unavailable for that time. I was not told why.”

            “Oh. I hadn’t considered that possibility.”

            “Is this covered under privacy?”

            April nodded. “Tell me you’ll consider my offer to join the harem.”

            “Why is that important?”

            “This is covered under privacy except for harem or those becoming harem. If you are considering becoming harem, I would feel that it is my responsibility to tell you at least some of what is going on so you can have the information you need to properly consider all of the potential ramifications of joining us.”

            “I am considering your offer to join your family and the harem,” Caintigern said. “And since I was considering it after you asked me to consider joining and before I learned of this trip, it is the truth.”

            “You know of Iain’s teacher in truewizardry, the one that he travels to periodically. I know you’ll also be teaching him this kind of magic, but your lessons with him have not started yet.”

            “It could be considered that my teaching him survival involves teaching him new ways to use his powers and therefore I am one of his teachers, but I understand what you are saying. You are speaking of Nightraven.”

            “Are you aware that unwisely using her name might draw her attention and could be hazardous, if not to you, then to some of us as we are around you?”

            Caintigern nodded. “I am, but I wished to specific so as to avoid any misunderstanding.”

            “She keeps Iain for various time periods when he goes to study with her. Sometimes it lasts for years. When he returns, he adjusts the time differential so he is only gone from this universe for seconds. However, when he returns to her this time, he will be sent on a mission for her that is to last for at least five hundred years for him. Here he will be gone a day for every century he has to live through, so he will be gone for at least five days.”

            Caintigern was staring at her. She suddenly stopped and picked up her cup. “I was not aware of this mission.”

            April smiled. “Without trying to sound condescending, I don’t think it’s likely she confides in you.”

            Caintigern chuckled. “That is true enough. She confides in no one.” Her chuckle faded. “I begin to see why Iain is so fond of his women, if they are as smart as you are. You believe that this time he will be away from here will change him.”

            “We are aware that every one of his trips to his teacher changes him to some degree, no matter how long he is gone. He hides it adroitly, but we who know him so well can see it. This time he will be gone for far longer than he has been alive to this point and we expect some significant differences when he returns to us. Some of them may be,” she paused, “unwanted and therefore we and he will work together to help remove any bad habits he may have developed.”

            “He would let you modify his behavior?”

            April nodded. “In certain circumstances, yes. It if is something that could cause him to accidentally harm someone that he cares about, such as his women or children, he would willingly work with us to change that behavior so that harm doesn’t happen.”

            “I am surprised that you have so much control over his behavior.”

            “Iain has told us a little about the society of the People as he learns more about it,” April said carefully. “From what I understand, we do not have the kind of control over him that a dragoness would expect to have over a typical drake. Instead, we have a partnership where we work together to keep each other safe and healthy. If there is something in his behavior that we think might be dangerous to us or to him and we can convince him that we are correct, he will work with us in order to help us to modify his behavior so he is only dangerous to our enemies.”

            “That explains a great deal regarding his behavior when I treat him as a drake of the People,” Caintigern said thoughtfully. “Did Iain tell you anything else about the mission he is being given?”

            “He told me the world he is going to, but nothing else.” She smiled. “The rest of the time he was arguing with us about our permission for him to fall in love and create a family there.”

            “You would allow this?”

            “We know that time alone for so long is unhealthy. Iain needs love to remain stable and we want him back and himself more than we want to keep him to ourselves. Even if he comes back with what he says is called a true dragon, we will welcome her and help her make a place with us.”

            Caintigern looked surprised. “You would allow this? A dragoness would not.”

            “I love my husband, or as you might call him, my mate. I would prefer to keep him all to myself, but I can’t. When he came here he was alone and what he was then would not be healthy for our family today. So he has to find a way to keep from becoming again what he was then and the only way I know of is if he allows himself to love others and to be loved in turn by them.”

            “I see,” Caintigern said slowly. “And you do not know where he is going?”

            “We know about this place in broad but he wouldn’t share the details with us even if he knew them. The very last thing he wants to do is risk his teacher’s wrath falling upon us.”

            Caintigern nodded. “If he had told me that this was why he would not be available I would have had him give me the coordinates of the world he is going to.”

            April hesitated for a second before deciding. “He gave them to us. I don’t understand much about opening gates, but others do and so he wanted us to have them.”

            “Do you have the coordinates? If so, I would like to know what they are.”

            April pulled her phone out of a pocket. “I have them. Please understand that I don’t know the coordinate system that Iain uses and so I cannot interpret them if you can’t read it.”

            Caintigern chuckled. “You are indeed as smart as some dragonesses, and not merely the stupid ones.”

            “Is that a compliment?”

            Caintigern nodded. “It is and you show intelligence again in wondering if someone who believes in only People and lesser races is complimenting you. I am.”

            “Thank you for the compliment, but if you spent more time with us you will find that many of the women Iain has chosen to share his life with are at least as intelligent as I am.”

            “No dragoness would be as humble as you are,” Caintigern noted amusedly. “Show me the coordinates.”

            “Yes.” April projected the coordinates she’d been given by Theodora into the air as a hologram of symbols.

            Caintigern leaned forward, her brow furrowing as she stared at the display. “I recognize some of this and the rest I can decipher. However, I will visit Nightraven and ask her to verify what I believe I understand.”

            “You know her?”

            Caintigern looked into April’s eyes. “Privacy.”


            “Yes. She and I know of each other and have met before.”

            “So you know where she lives?”


            “Good.” April put her phone away. “Iain will be back in a few days. I would really like an answer before he returns, but even if you don’t answer by then, please seriously consider my offer, if you don’t feel it’s a lot like a sheep asking a wolf to move in with her.”

            “I have a question. If I join your family and Iain and I had children, if I were killed and had left certain specific instructions on how my children would be raised, would those instructions be followed?”

            April frowned. “As far as we could and so long as it didn’t cause us to violate our moral structure, yes. You are your children’s mother and you should know what is best for them.”

            Caintigern blinked and the teacups and service vanished. “If you had requested this soon after I had come here, I would have been amused and insulted that a lesser being would think that it was my equal in any way. I have since learned that some of the reasons that Iain values the people here have a valid basis in reality. Agreeing to become clan would place restraints on my behavior that I am unused to having and I am not certain that I ever want to be constrained in those ways. However, I will consider the advantages and disadvantages to your request completely and give you an answer as soon as I can. When that will be, I cannot say. There are a great many permutations to the situation that I must consider and I wish to consider then thoroughly.”

            “That is all I can ask,” April said as she stood. “Thank you for meeting with me.”

            Caintigern rose with her as the door opened. “I believe the proper response is you’re welcome.”

            She went outside with April and watched as the Duelist vanished. Then she glanced at the door to her house, which closed.

            Then she vanished too, emerging on the island she’d chosen to use for travel to and from other worlds. A gate opened and she stepped through.


            Iain stepped through the gate into a gale that blew hard into his face and tumbled him backwards. He twisted to hit the ground properly and realized that there was no storm. What had really happened to him was that he’d exited the portal far above the ground and was spinning as he fell. Thinking about it made him realize that Nightraven usually entered the Ark by flying through a gate that was up in the air and that he couldn’t remember her ever arriving on foot unless someone else was controlling the portal. He spread his arms and legs to maximize his air resistance as he twisted until he was facing down at the ocean rolling serenely underneath him. Years of flying let him estimate that he was a few thousand feet above the waves, giving him nearly half a minute before his fall ended abruptly. And at this altitude, the velocity he’d have when he reached the surface of the water would make the impact like hitting a very thick steel wall.

            He shifted to his small dragon form and carefully spread his wings until he felt them bite into the air, turning his fall into a glide and then a climb as he adjusted them to provide lift. He circled, seeing a thin line of distant land to his right and waited until he was pointed at it before straightening out his flight and hunting out the nearest thermal to begin soaring and circling to climb to a higher altitude.

            The constellation is in position and I am using it to send a message to the ship, his twee told him. A shuttle is inbound and should rendezvous in roughly ten minutes. Hold position here for it.

            I’m going to keep heading towards land, Iain replied. It can find me wherever I am and I won’t get so close before it arrives that we need to be concerned about being seen and messing up my plans.

            You just enjoy flying.

            I do very much enjoy flying. This, however, is about keeping moving so I am less of a target for some creature that’s bigger than me and might think I’d make a quick meal.

            Iain went back to going from thermal to thermal. Several minutes later his twee spoke again. The shuttle is here. It isn’t going to turn off its cloak before it snags you. Three, two, one, now.

            Iain folded his wings and went limp as a tractor beam clamped on and pulled him sideways. Abruptly he was inside the airlock and dropped to the floor as the outer lock began to cycle shut. He automatically linked into the shuttle’s controls and paused when he received a challenge from the automated system. Sending first password. The airlock’s inner hatch spun open. Iain headed through it as soon as it was completely open and dropped into a seat as he linked into the shuttle’s sensors to discover it was already climbing towards space. “Why are there passwords?”

            You will find you’re locked out of the controls until we land and you verify who you are to the security system. Daya wanted to make sure there were no mistakes when identifying you and installed a complicated and sophisticated handshake procedure because it is remotely possible a telepath or wizard might get one or two passwords from you or some priest might use divination magic to learn one of them. The passcodes were given to you subconsciously when you were being checked over by Candace.

            “Does one of the protocols involve the passwords only being given through hyperspace communication? As far as anyone knows, I am the only living person in this universe with a twee.”

            A god might try to mimic using a twee and Daya was unsure if they might not be able to use magic to access hyperspace, so that is not a requirement. However, your DNA and energy signature are and must be provided in person so the security system can kill imposters. You will also be required to change into the dragon horse form and provide a DNA sample for it as well.

            “Well, that’s pretty detailed. We’ll change passwords and ID codes once access is granted and remind me to change them every single time I use the system.”

            Will do.

            Iain settled back and napped for most of the flight, waking up when the shuttle penetrated the camouflage field of the ship. He waited until the airlocks were open before getting up and exiting the vehicle.

            The station’s landing platform was dark with only a single beam of bright light illuminating a one meter wide circle on the deck ahead of him. Proceed and stand to the immediate right but completely outside of the lighted spot. It’s another trick for imposters, who would think they should stand in the light. Then identify yourself within the clan. Speak only in Gaelic.

            Iain did. “I am the Grey.” Next you will speak in Hebrew.

            A human woman appeared in front of him. It wasn’t either Daya or Theodora, instead a generic holographic construct of an average human wearing a black and gold jumpsuit. “What is your given name?”

            “My name is Iain.”

            “Death is the penalty for failing this interrogation. Your answer was incorrect. If you fail again to give the correct answer you will receive the penalty. What is your given name?”

            Speak in Seldruin. It was another test designed to rattle imposters. “My name is Iain.”

            The hologram took a step backwards. “Shift.” Iain changed to his dragon horse form. A small drone landed on his back for a second and lifted off to fly away. The woman smiled. “You may speak any language you wish now. Clan Leader, what may I do for you?”

            The test is complete and you have passed. “Have you been here for the requested ten years?”

            “This ship, which is named Phantasmal Surveyor, has been in the Toril system for two hundred and six years.”

            “Did Theodora or Daya leave a note in your message base for you to tell me that the extra time was them being helpful and it wasn’t a mistake?”

            “Daya did.”

            Iain eyed her for a moment. “You are not alive.”

            “I am not. I am the automated control system for the Phantasmal Surveyor, which has been parked in this orbit around the local sun for one hundred seventy six years and four months. As instructed, I have an inventory of my consumables available, internal parasite craft and a list of the craft that refused to be warned off and were captured or destroyed along with a list of the things that were taken from them.” The lights came up to reveal the landing bay. It was much smaller than what Iain was used to, but the Phantasmal Surveyor wasn’t anywhere near the size of the Theodora or Ouroboros. While it had the standard areas for greenery, all of them were empty piles of soil. “I have informed the others that you have arrived.”

            A hatch opened and an almost completely skeletal Eirian strode through it to drop to one knee in front of him. “My lord,” she said. “I was wrong. Do not ever separate me from you for so long again.” She looked up at him. One eye was gone, replaced by the glowing red dot of the lich while the other was milky white and partially deflated. “I,” she hesitated, “missed you.”

            Iain rested his hand on her head and she sighed deeply at the touch. “I miss you whenever we are apart, Eirian. I accepted some time ago that you are mine and your place will always be with me.”

            “Thank you, my lord.” She stood. “We have been busy but, as you commanded, we have not gone to the surface of Toril except one visit to what will be the island of Gwynneth in the Moonshae Islands and then to an island in the Nelanther chain in order to establish two potential exits for shadow walking. As instructed, we have also briefly landed on all of the other worlds, moons and most of the asteroids of this system. We have also determined how spelljamming craft are operated and can show you how to operate the various types of space going craft that we have acquired during our stay here.”

            “We’ll get to that in due time. Is there anything I need to know about immediately?”

            “There are three developments. Two are acquisitions that you need to bond. The third is more problematic but not time critical just as of yet.”

            “What acquisitions?”

            “When the Phantasmal Surveyor warned off ships approaching too closely, if they refused to leave or attacked, we boarded the ships to subjugate or destroy the crews. If they were taken alive, the ship would drain their memories before they were killed. One of the ones we captured was too valuable to destroy and the second,” she paused. “The second recognized what we were and begged to join us as a lich. She does not understand that it will mean becoming bonded to you, my lord, but she is a powerful wizard that was already seeking to become a lich. Both of the new acquisitions have already been processed and are waiting for your bonding.”

            The Phantasmal Surveyor’s hologram looked at Iain. “A correction to what Eirian told you. As per protocol, any positively identified slaves or prisoners on captured ships also had their memories copied but were then placed into stasis cells for eventual consideration for being executed, freed or ransomed.”

            “Thank you. We’ll get to them later.” He looked at Eirian. “Historically some people did seek to become a lich to cheat death and become more powerful.” Iain shook his head. “But that’s still odd.”

            “It is odd to you because you have always sought to remain alive over almost all things,” Eirian said. “Come with me.”

            Iain followed her. “What’s the third thing?”

            “Geraldine is unhappy about her servitude to you.”

            “That’s not new.”

            “She has had two centuries in which to study her form of magic and feels she is ready to challenge you for mastery. She believes Julia is a kindred spirit and confides in her. I have instructed Julia to pretend to be her friend and to encourage this behavior.” She looked over her shoulder at him. “My lord, may I destroy her?”

            “Can you?”

            “Your control over all of us is absolute if you desire it to be. Geraldine can only resist destruction if you allow it. Her bond prevents her from attacking you unless you allow it, which is why she did not ambush you when you exited the shuttle.”

            “Then she’ll have to confront me.”

            “Yes, my lord. That is why the problems she represents are not time critical.”

            “She’s a truewizard,” Iain pointed out. “Because of that, she may eventually be able to find a way to neutralize her bond or at least weaken it enough to act openly against me.”

            “That was my concern as well, which is why I wish to destroy her now.”

            “If she’d defeated my control, she would have attacked me or fled,” Iain said thoughtfully. “So she’s not ready just yet. That’ll let me consider the situation.”

            “Do not let the fact that she is an analog of you cause you to be too merciful, my lord.”

            “Geraldine is in my bubble by virtue of the fact that she’s in my undead harem. That does not grant her mercy if she’s planning to attack me or any person important to me. But she knows how to shadow walk and she knows where my family is. More than likely my decision will be to let you have your wish.”

            “Yes, my lord,” Eirian said in a voice heavy with anticipation. She stopped in front of a door. “Open on my authorization and turn on the lights.”

            The door slid open and the lights brightened to show a larger room filled with a gigantic skeleton stretched out in it. Iain recognized it immediately as a blue dragon. From the size of the skeleton, it probably had been an ancient one or perhaps a great wyrm when it had died. Then the head lifted to look at them and he saw the red pinpoints floating in its eye sockets. “You caught a live blue dragon on a spelljamming ship? Was she skiing behind it?”

            Eirian laughed. “She was being held inside a gem shaped magical container on an illithid ship that we took. I decided not to miss the opportunity to capture such a being and, since she was female and evil, I claimed her life for the harem.”

            “I’m not sure she’ll be as useful as you are.” He shrugged. “It’s your call. Where is her gem?”

            “Aurum is bringing it, my lord.”

            A few minutes later the door opened to admit a completely skeletal Dragoness. Aurum halted in front of Iain and knelt. “My lord, it is good to see you again.”

            Iain dropped a hand on her head and she shivered. “Did you miss me,” he asked teasingly.

            “My lord, I was tortured by our slayer and his brother until I begged for death. I thought that nothing could be worse than that. The pain of not feeling your life is not physical, but it was agonizing nevertheless.” She shifted her head and nuzzled the side of her jaw where her cheek would have been against his palm. The bone was smooth and cool as it rubbed against his skin. “Eirian is right, my lord. We will obey you if you order us away from you again, but we will not like it and we, in whatever fashion we are capable of, will miss your presence.”

            “You were spying on us?”

            Aurum shook her head. “We have had ample time to research new ways of doing things, my lord. One of them is that we have used a variant of the bonding spell on the original five so that we can each see and hear what the other four do.”

            “Just the five of you? What about the others?”

            “They have not earned the right to share minds with us.”

            “I try not to allow favoritism in my living harem. Why should I tolerate it in my undead one?”

            Eirian cocked her head. “My lord, are you telling me to begin researching a way to extend this to the rest of your undead harem?”

            “The spell doesn’t work on them?”

            “It works on Dragonesses. It will not, as it currently is, work on any other breed, although it might work on Rhea. That means we could use it as is on the other Dragonesses in the undead harem.”

            “Start work on a more generalized spell.” Iain raised a finger when Eirian nodded. “If I decide your new version is taking too long to develop, I will have to decide then if I will force you to remove the spell you have in place now so as to get rid of the blatant favoritism. You already have twee for communication and working together.” His eyes met her mismatched ones. “Do you understand what I mean when I say that?”

            “We will not be allowed to keep what we have, even if it is an aid, if you feel that we are not pursuing the research to develop a version for everyone else in a diligent fashion,” the silver Dragoness stated.

            “I’m glad you understand.” Eirian snickered. “What is it?”

            Eirian chuckled echoingly. “As you would say, my lord, I am such a pokegirl.”


            “Hearing you give me orders fills me with satisfaction. My situation is now back to where it is as things should be. I have my lord and I am his.”

            Iain shook his head slightly. “Aurum, rise and give me the gem for this dragon.”

            Aurum stood, opened her mouth and pulled the gem from inside her skull. “My lord.”

            “Why are you both skeletal? Is that due to my absence?”

            The gold Dragoness shook her head. “We captured a beholder craft a few days ago and several of us lost our flesh during the assault.”

            “Was anyone hurt?”

            “The beholders were,” Aurum said amusedly. “But none of them were killed until after we had drained their knowledge for the database.”

            “Their antimagic field doesn’t cause you problems?”

            “We cannot use our magic in them. As for their other eye weapons either we are already dead and so their effect cannot harm us or our innate magic resistance as liches protects us. However we can still fly and we are much stronger than they are, even their undead beholder types. Often we use a spell to surround ourselves with our own antimagic fields before combating them so their beam attacks are completely useless.”

            “I’ll give instructions to the Phantasmal Surveyor on how to butcher and store beholders so I can sell the parts for spell components.” He took the gem and held it up in front of the dragon skeleton. “Is this yours?” It nodded. “Open your mouth about halfway.” Its jaws opened. “Nyclioch ameloth zalestiel rholaeip. Kalieth lhurept.” The dragon shuddered for several seconds before it became motionless again. “Are you bound to me now?” It nodded again, mouth still open. Iain tossed the gem into its mouth where it melted into nothingness. “Eirian is the maharani of my undead harem, which now includes you.” The massive head turned, regarded Eirian and nodded once more as it closed its jaws. “Good.” He looked at Eirian. “What is her name?”


            “Well, I’ll deal with her later. What’s next?”

            Eirian looked at Aurum. “Fetch the elf’s gem and meet us there.”

            “Yes, Eirian.” Aurum bobbed her head towards Iain. “My lord.” Then she was gone, running on almost silent feet through the doorway.

            “Did all of you miss my presence?”

            Eirian nodded. “This way and, yes, we did. It is one of the reasons Geraldine is very angry right now. You are not her slayer, but she yearns to be free of you and yet she is drawn to you and the life that emanates from you.”

            Iain followed the Dragoness lich. “Does her usefulness outweigh the threat she represents? She is a truewizard.”

            “Julia was a servant of Sanctuary and commanded pokegirls as such. She was untrained in magic when she joined our ranks and yet she has risen to become an exemplary mage. She is willing to work with anyone else in your undead harem. Liches are not predisposed toward working together. I understand this, both from the knowledge I have gained and from experience with my harem sisters. For you, we submit our almost overweening pride and work with each other, some more so and some less, depending on personality. Geraldine came to the harem as a truewizard. She is powerful in her own way. She is also as arrogant and prideful as the worst of us. She considers herself vastly superior to any here by virtue of her humanity and her truewizardry. Any cooperation from Geraldine is grudging at best and is always self-serving. She believes that any research she is interested in should take precedence over the wants of anyone else, including mine as your maharani and, possibly, yours.”

            “You didn’t have such strong antipathy towards her before,” Iain noted.

            “I have known her for two centuries since then, my lord. In that time, anyone’s virtues and vices will come to light. I understand much more about what you must have gone through during your absences and it is remarkable that you are as unchanged as you are.”

            “I do change, I just work to keep it to a minimum and hide it when I return home. Now, as the maharini of my undead harem, what is your final judgement of Geraldine?”

            Eirian was silent for a moment, pausing in front of another doorway. “I would advise you to destroy her. Perhaps you could replace her with someone else. If she gets her freedom she will seek vengeance for every slight she feels you have inflicted on her by merely treating her as well as you have treated anyone here but not better as she feels she deserves.”

            “And she will not discriminate between me and my family, will she?”

            “She has seen the pain that the loss of the ones who died in Austin brought you, my lord. She will deliberately target them in the mistaken belief that their deaths will weaken you and let her achieve her goals. She does not understand what I do and how much it would strengthen you against her if she harmed those you care for.”

            Then she is doomed to destruction, Iain thought to Eirian through their bond. I will continue to seem as if I haven’t decided in case she can somehow observe us. “But she isn’t free and she can’t go after them. And, as you said, she is powerful and that makes her useful. Besides, arrogance is far from unknown among truewizards. I’ll think about it for a while, but I’m inclined to keep her because of her utility.”

            Eirian hissed softly. “You are my lord. Your desires are mine to carry out.”

            The door opened and Iain looked at the skeleton standing in the room. “You told me that this was an elf. The base skeleton is that of an elf female, but she’s got horns growing from her forehead, fangs, a tail and wings.”

            “She claims to be a half fiend,” Eirian said. “Her name is Helesatra Vyshaan.”

            “Really? From what I remember, the Vyshaan clan was associated with devils and, unknown to most, a fallen solar of Corellon’s who hates elves. But half fiends are immortal,” Iain was looking at the skeleton. “Why would she seek lichdom?”

            “She did not say before she was killed, my lord. Later you can ask her.”

            “I will.”

            The door opened and Aurum came in. She held up another gem. “My lord, this creature’s gem.”

            Iain took the gem. “Thank you.” He held up the gem and the skeleton’s head turned to focus on it. “Is this yours?” It nodded. “Nyclioch ameloth zalestiel rholaeip. Kalieth lhurept.” The skeleton took a step backwards and stopped as it trembled for nearly a minute. Then it stepped forward into its original spot. “Here is your gem.”

            It took the gem and swallowed it. As the gem melted, it trembled again “What has happened,” a feminine voice said in elven.

            “Are you Helesatra Vyshaan?”

            “I am. How do you know this? I have not used my real name in many years.”

            “You were captured by Eirian and my other servants. Before they could kill you, you recognized them as liches and asked to become one too. You have.”

            “I remember that. So my soul is here?”

            “It is,” Iain said.

            “Then I have won.” The skeleton laughed softly. “Thank you.”

            “What have you won?”

            “I am a princess of the Vyshaantar Empire. I was born as part of a covenant between my sire, a Pit Fiend named Dragel, and my clan. I was supposed to be given to him when I turned eight. When I was five, a servant took pity on me and smuggled me out of the empire. My family wants to kill me and if I am killed by them, my soul will go to my sire. I don’t want that to happen. I have had to stay on the move since my foster family was killed by royal agents over four centuries ago. The empire is at war with the other elven kingdoms and if they could send my soul to my sire, he would aid them with an army of devils and that would change the tide of the war and my clan would win. Now that I am a lich, I will be harder to find and if I am destroyed, my soul will be destroyed too.”

            Iain frowned. “That’s quite the story. We’ll discuss this more later, after you’ve rejuvenated. In the meantime, welcome to my undead harem. This is Eirian, who is my maharani and this is Aurum, another member of my undead harem. You’ll meet the others later.” He turned to Eirian. “You said that Helesatra is a powerful wizard. Make sure she gets her spell books and other magical gear back. In the meantime I want to go over the inventory of what you got from those ships. I want to see what we can and cannot pack into Dikon.”

            “Yes, my lord. Do you think this plan will really work?”

            He chuckled. “Only time will tell.”

            “Your humor is distinctly unamusing.”

            Iain shrugged. “My humor is my own, but let’s see if I can find something more entertaining for you. Helesatra?”

            “Yes, my lord?”

            “Ok, is that a conditioned response or something learned,” Iain asked Eirian.

            “I heard her call you that and thought it wise to do the same,” Helesatra said. “I can feel that you have power over me and I do not wish to find out what that means you can do to me.”

            Eirian chuckled. “It is learned my lord. This one is very intelligent. She will be a great asset to the harem.”

            “Helesatra, please stand over behind Eirian. Aurum, tell Geraldine that I want to talk to her.”

            “She’ll say she’s busy, my lord.”

            “It wasn’t a request. If she demurs, can you fetch her?”

            “Her magic is hard for us to defend against, my lord. It would take more than me to restrain her if she resists completely.”

            Iain nodded. “Phantasmal Surveyor, let me talk to Geraldine via hologram please.”


            A hologram appeared, floating in the air. Geraldine was seated in an ornate chair and reading a large tome. Unlike the Dragonesses, she was fully fleshed and clothed, wearing jeans and a button down shirt. “Geraldine.”

            Her head came up. “My lord,” she said evenly. “You have arrived.”

            “Phantasmal Surveyor is going to give you a guide globe to follow. Come to me.” A white globe of light appeared in the hologram, floating off to Geraldine’s right.

            She glanced at the globe. “My lord, I am in the middle of a delicate piece of research. Can we put this off for a few days?”

            Iain seemed to consider her request. “No, I don’t think this can wait.”

            Geraldine’s eyes narrowed slightly before relaxing. “I will be there as soon as I can, my lord. End transmission.” She went back to her book.

            “Geraldine?” She looked up again with a hiss. “Phantasmal Surveyor is my ship and she will end this call when I tell her to. As soon as you can had better be now, Geraldine, and not when you reach what you think is an appropriate stopping point.”

            “My lord,” Geraldine said, “as I said, this is a rather delicate piece of research that could prove very useful. You shouldn’t have to wait to see me for more than a few hours.”

            Iain could see her, making this easier. He reached out with that part of him that loved the dead so much and was part of his absolute control over the dead that he’d claimed. “Geraldine, follow the light and come to me. Bring the book. I want to see what’s so important that it’s made you disobedient.” Geraldine’s eyes burned with suppressed fury as she rose, tucked the book under her arm and followed the light as it headed out of the view. “Thank you, Phantasmal Surveyor.” The hologram vanished.

            “You are a necromancer,” Helesatra said quietly. “I trained as a necromancer and I can feel your power. You are far more powerful than I am.”

            “I am many things, but I do have some necromantic skills.”

            “That,” Aurum said, “was very entertaining. May I summon the rest of the undead harem, my lord? They should witness this.”

            Iain started to speak and shrugged. “Eirian?”

            Eirian shook her head. “Aurum, you and Helesatra will witness for the harem.”

            Helesatra had moved to where Iain had told her to. “What will I witness?”

            “A lesson,” Eirian said. “Our lord is fair but even his mercy has its limits.”

            “Geraldine has some issues that I need to correct in her behavior,” Iain looked back at the half fiend elf’s skeleton. “If I let it go on too long she could become a danger to the harem and to me. It won’t take long to fix.”

            “When you give her an order, you expect her to obey with alacrity,” Helesatra suggested.

            “Alacrity presumes cheerful obedience. I don’t insist on cheerfulness while obeying me, but I do expect her, and anyone else, to obey promptly.”

            “That is only as it should be,” Helesatra said. “She serves you. I will obey promptly.”

            “That’s good because we have a large amount of work ahead of us. If I have to spend a lot of my time telling people to keep doing the work I’ve given them then I’m going to waste a lot of my time and my mood is likely to suffer for it. And my mood will not be the only thing that’s going to suffer in such a situation.”

            Helesatra laughed in a soft voice. “Spoken like my grandfather, the emperor.”

            “Sir,” the Phantasmal Surveyor’s hologram appeared. “Geraldine will be here in less than a minute.”

            Iain turned to face the door. “Thank you for informing me. Please continue to do so.”  Several seconds later the door opened and Geraldine walked into the room. Iain pointed at the floor in front of him. “Geraldine, post.”

            Her eyes were wary as she stopped directly in front of him. “I did not mean to sound insolent,” she said calmly.

            “Hold completely still and do not do anything.” She froze, her mouth still open to continue to protest. Iain touched her on the forehead and pulled a blue globe from beneath her skin. He shoved it into his temple as her eyes went very wide. “Wow. If I let you do that to me I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t survive it and it would hurt a lot.” He smiled. “I’ll grant you that it’s pretty creative, but I could do better.” He cocked his head. “Nothing to say? Oh, right, you can’t move, you can’t focus your will, you can’t do anything because I own you. And yet you were planning to murder the people I love just to watch me suffer.” He chuckled “Of course, you were very mistaken about my relationship with Caintigern and I’d have almost paid money to watch you try to assassinate her. That would have been a very short fight.” He smiled. “And the plans you had for me wouldn’t have worked. I’m a lot more powerful than you think, even after you wasted a couple of centuries studying combat magic. I learned most of that in less than ten years, but then you were never very diligent and Nightraven has a way of making me pay attention to her lessons.” He eyed her for a moment. “You may not do any magic. None. You may speak if you wish, but that is the only movement you are allowed.”

            “There’s been a huge misunderstanding, my lord! I am faithful to you!”

            “No more speaking. Close your mouth.” Her mouth slammed shut. “I have all of your memories. You can’t lie or beg your way out of this. Eirian.”

            The silver Dragoness stepped forward. “My lord.”

            “You will take the necessary steps to permanently destroy Geraldine’s physicality. However, you are to allow her soul to survive. It is to be freed to travel to the Land of the Dead and from there to wherever it is supposed to go, whether that is to her final place or to reincarnation. Since she feels that her time in the undead harem has been such a tribulation since she was so stupid as to let the Blue League kill her before we found her, this will give her the chance to perhaps find a little peace of some kind.”

            “It would be far easier to destroy her soul, my lord” Eirian protested. “She deserves no less than that.”

            “I know it’s harder and I know you’re more than capable of doing as I told you to.”

            Eirian bowed. “I hear your order, my lord. She will be destroyed within the day. Helesatra, take the book Geraldine holds.”

            Iain chuckled as the half fiend lich pulled the book from beneath Geraldine’s arm. “See, Geraldine, if that had been your attitude then I’m certain that in a century or two you could have convinced me to bring you back to life and let you go. Of course, at that point I’m also certain that Ganieda would have been waiting to almost completely kill you over and over again, but eventually she would have gotten too enthusiastic and screwed up so you’d finally die. Maybe that time you wouldn’t turn into a random lich.” He shrugged. “But it doesn’t matter anymore. You brought this on yourself and nobody is going to miss you.” Geraldine was staring at him with horror in her eyes. “Eirian, she’s all yours.”

            Eirian held out a hand and a red beam sprang from it. It wove a softly glowing net of red light over Geraldine’s body. Then she scooped up the motionless lich. “I will bring you the memory of her destruction so that you may present it to Ganieda with my compliments, my lord.”

            “She’ll like that. Thank you.” He watched Eirian leave. “Aurum?”

            “My lord.”

            “If everyone is going to respond the way you and Eirian did to my presence, let’s set up a rotation where I can touch everyone in the dead harem briefly so they can feel my life. Make sure someone takes Viersunuth in hand until her mind wakes up and she can have her new situation explained to her.”

            “What about this one?”

            Iain glanced at the skeletal half fiend elf. “Helesatra is already awake. Unless you need her for some testing I don’t see where she can’t help pack.”

            “That would be unwise, my lord. She is unaware of her newfound strength and could break what she handles, with serious repercussions if she breaks a magical item and releases its energy violently.”

            “I want to help my lord,” Helesatra said. “Make sure I don’t touch anything that could break like that until I learn to control my strength and I can.”

            Aurum laughed. “This one is very smart, my lord. She wants to make sure you see her being helpful so she does not join Geraldine.”

            “Of course she does,” Iain replied. “If we free her soul, her family wins and I don’t think she likes them very much.”

            “I hate them all,” Helesatra spat.

            “Well, if you’re good and do your chores and lessons completely and cheerfully, I might let you kill some of them.”

            “You would do that?” Her voice almost throbbed with an eager hunger.

            “They destroyed Eilistraee’s power base to the point that it’ll probably take thousands of years to rebuild when they cast that curse on the dark elves in Miyeritar and destroyed the kingdom. As far as I’m concerned they’re almost completely without redemption and whatever happens to them is entirely on them.”

            “My lord,” Helesatra asked, “why does what happened to the worshippers of Eilistraee bother you so?”

            “I’m a priest of hers.” He smiled when her head cocked curiously. “What’s important is that I let my harem have little pleasures when I deem it fit so as to keep them happy. Would being able to revenge yourself on some of your family make you happy?”

            “Yes.” She bobbed her head. “Yes, my lord.”

            “Then I’ll keep it in mind as a possible reward for exemplary behavior.” He looked at Aurum. “Let’s get going.”

            “This way, my lord.” She led them from the room and the lights died down behind them.


            Iain stepped through the portal and was gone. Nightraven waited a few more seconds before drawing the power from the gate and watching it close.

            “Do you have any idea of what you may have just done, not only to yourself but also to me?”

            Nightraven’s eyes narrowed and she turned to face Caintigern. “I have done many things,” she said coolly. “Is there a specific action that has brought you here to confront me or is this just a general attack of some kind?”

            “You sent my mate to live by himself for several centuries. He will have no guidance and the person who returns, if he returns, will be vastly different from the one who, just a moment ago, walked into your portal with the blind trust that you wished from him.”

            “There is very little where he is going that could truly threaten him,” Nightraven replied. “He will return.”

            Caintigern raised an eyebrow. “You are old, although not nearly as old as I am, considering that I was already Queen with children when I was present at your birth. I know your true age. You are powerful, in many ways nearly as powerful as I am. And yet you are completely ignorant of the ways of drakes. A dragoness with an ounce of wisdom does not send a drake away unless she never wants him to return. There is always a dragoness somewhere who will claim any drake who is not dead. Until he speaks and she discovers just how intelligent he is, almost any dragoness who sees Iain will want to claim him as her mate.”

            “My student will return.”

            “Did you extract a vow from him to do so?”

            “My students return. They do not wish me to fetch them.”

            Caintigern laughed. “First you tell me that you do not wish to be treated as a child and then you put childish trust in his fear of you being a sufficient motivator that Iain will return to you, even when you know that he knows that if he shadow walks you cannot locate him.”

            “He does not fear me as much as you believe. Before he left, I asked him to be my mate and he agreed. He will return.”

            “You do not smell pregnant. Do you carry his child and does he know that you do? When I experienced his emotions I learned more about him and how he thinks. The fact that you asked him to eventually breed you means nothing. He does not love either of us and, without that or one of us carrying his child, he has no reason to return to either of us.”

            Nightraven shrugged. “He will return to his women and children. He will return to us to protect them.”

            “I have just spoken with one of his women and she shows more wisdom than you do in that she is worried that the time he is gone will change him so much that he will no longer feel any attachment to her, his other women or his offspring. She extracted a vow from him to return but is still concerned that he will return only because of that vow and, once he has returned, there might not be any predicting of what he will do. Drakes do become child killers, even of their own children. And sometimes a drake goes mad, kills dragonesses and must be destroyed. This woman is also worried that he will return with other mates and progeny.”

            Nightraven frowned. “He has never taken a mate here, even when I sent him to apprentice to Elminster.”

            “Up until this point he has not taken a mate because he felt that it would be wrong for him to take a mate with mates waiting for and desiring his safe return. This time the situation is different. His women worried so much about his mental stability while being gone so long that they asked him to seek mates while on your mission.” Caintigern shook her head. “At my order I had both drakes and dragonesses imprisoned and kept from contact with others of the People. They sometimes went insane and it often took far shorter a time than you intend for him to be away from us.”

            “They were weak.”

            “Iain was not born and raised with the history of the People to give him the strength he will need. In years, he is still far from adult and you will let him grow into adulthood during his exile. The lesser races on the world he is on will guide his growth or he will guide that growth without any input from us, the only dragonesses of the People that he has ever known. It is during the first few centuries of life that the personality of a child changes the most as it flies into adulthood. And there are other potential issues. What if a dragoness of the People is on that world? What if one is traveling as you were traveling when Blacktooth struck and chooses that world to explore? If she has any sense, she will seek to claim him and then you will have another mate of his to contend with, only this one will be of the People and a true mate for us to compete against.” Caintigern’s eyes narrowed suddenly. “Does he know what the bloodline of Blacktooth is like so he can identify it if that dragoness is one Blacktooth’s line? Just like you did, I am certain that there are young dragonesses of Blacktooth’s and other lines seeking to increase their power and status who will journey from our worlds to others in search of adventure and knowledge. If he has a child with her, what then? He will defend that child as he would any of his children, even from us.”

            “The odds of any of the People being on that world at any time that he might be is essentially zero.”

            “What are the odds he would send himself to you? What are the odds that he would find me? What are the odds that he would survive both events? What are the odds that he would be the one that you would choose to be your mate and transform into one of the People so that the purity of your blood would not be sullied by breeding with one of the lesser races?” Caintigern’s teeth showed in her smile. “All of those could be considered to be zero probability and yet all of them happened. And the commonality in those events is not you and it is not me.”

            Nightraven was watching her grandaunt. “Iain must undertake this mission. It is practice for when he will have to travel to our worlds before we do and gather information on our enemies for us.”

            “He did not have to undertake this mission now, before he had ties of blood with us. We will not move against our enemies until we have children to take up the battle if we fall.” Caintigern created a chair and sat down in it, smoothing out her skirts as she spoke. “You were never courted and you have never courted anyone. As his women would say, you were not properly socialized and so you do not understand that drakes are males and they must breed. Considering his lifestyle with his women, that is especially true for Iain.”

            “What is done is done,” Nightraven said.

            “You should spend time in the memories I gave you.” Caintigern stood again and the chair vanished. “They will help you to understand more about the relationship between drakes and dragonesses than you have in your fantasies of having your own drake entirely to yourself. We all have that fantasy, but very few ever attain it. I was Queen and I had no drake exclusively. By sending Iain to spend so much time alone, you have ensured he will find others. He may have children with them. But understand that if you send him alone to our worlds, dragonesses will try to claim him. Some will determine how to properly approach him and, being completely alone, he will not rebuff all of them. So when we join him, he will have children from them. You must be prepared for this.” She shook her head. “And what do we do if he does not return, or worse, he does and spurns us both?”

            Nightraven growled. “He is mine.”

            “If he does not feel that way about you, you are unlikely to be able to force him to be yours.” She chuckled. “It is fortunate for him that I have not been involved with a drake in a very long time and you have never been involved with a drake. Otherwise we would be far less tolerant of his behavior. The problem for us is that we both know how well he would respond to correction, which is not well at all.” Her amusement faded. “But the truth is that we need him more than he needs us. It would be best to never forget that, if only because I am certain that he never does.”

            “If you know all of this, then how do I ensure my mate does not do these things?”

            “The time for that would have been before you sent him away. Now it is too late. When he returns, we, like his harem, will try to get him to change anything that we find unsatisfactory.”

            “That is not difficult,” Nightraven said. “If I tell him to change a behavior, he does.”

            “Does he? Or does he change it where you can observe it? Does that behavior change when you cannot observe him doing it or only when you can?” She nodded to herself. “We must find the motivation that will make him want to work with us instead of merely doing what we want where we can observe it.”

            Nightraven nodded. She glanced up at the sky. Storm clouds were gathering and lightning flickered behind one of them. “Let us go to the library where we can discuss this more securely.”


Iain Grey



Ninhursag Grey - Elfqueen & maharani

April Grey - Duelist & beta

Dominique Grey - Blessed Archmage

Pandora - Fiendish Archangel

Zareen - Nightmare

Sofia - Ria

Vanessa – Evangelion

Lucifer – Megami Sama

Ganieda – Snugglebunny Splice

Heather - Elfqueen

Marguerite – Unicorn

Scheherazade – Dread Wolf

Irena – Sanctuary Goth

Lynn – Dire Wolf

Rosemary – Mistoffeles

Dianthus – Elfqueen


Outer Clan

Golden Cloud – equine unicorn

Arianrhod -Fey Goblin Female


Satellite Clan

            74 male Goblins

            89 female Goblins


Queendom / Outer Clan

73 Elves

Dionne - Elfqueen

Adrianna - Elfqueen

Heltu - Wet Queen

14 Wet Elves


Dead Harem

Dead Harem (22)

Eirian - Silver Dragoness

Aurum - Gold Dragoness

Skye - Blue Dragoness

Emerald - Green Dragoness

Beryl - Red Dragoness

Julia - human

Ling - Cheetit

Matilda - White Tigress

Liadan - Twau

Sorrel - Armsmistress

Natalie - Blazicunt

Maria – Slutton

Rhea Silvia – Chimera

Geraldine – Human analog of Iain

Alabaster – Dragoness (white)

Onyx – Dragoness (black)

Lapis – Dragoness (blue)

Garnet – Dragoness (red)

Iolite – Dragoness (purple)

Malachite – Dragoness (green with white swirls)

Dabria – Dark Queen

Omisha – Demoness


Mother                                    Children



                                    Myrna (Age 4)



                                    Dorothy: Duelist (Age 3)

                                    Meara: Duelist

                                    Regan: Duelist


                                    Olivia: Megami Sama (Age 6)

                                    Seraphina: Megami Sama

                                    Miram: Angel (Age 5)



                                    Caltha: Nightmare (Age 0)

                                    Kim:  Nightmare

                                    Xanthe: Nightmare

                                    Epona: Nightmare

                                    Philippa: Nightmare

                                    Nott: Nightmare

                                    Nyx: Nightmare



                                    Anna: Ria

                                    Esmerelda: Ria


Monica Chambers

                                    James: Jamie Harris kid (Age 2)