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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chptr 7

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chptr 7   December 1st 2008, 7:55 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Seven

Part 1

Chorrik stepped into the stables surprised by the sight before him. A man sat slumped in the saddle of a horse. Both the rider and steed looked as if they had prepared for travel. Ferrigote grunted as he walked with his wife to where his horses waited, but Chorrik kept his eyes on the one that appeared not to know that he could start his adventure or had already arrived at his destination.

A strange chuckle sounded as Chorrik advanced, then a familiar voice said, "I told you that I would be waiting for you."

Eyes lifted, but the identification shocked the man. "Giluchex? What is this?"

Ferrigote blared, "Oh, DAMN!" as the rider said, "I am going with you."

Chorrik tried to respond to both men as he said, "I forgot to mention you."

Ferrigote loudly grumbled, "You cannot refuse him, Chorrik. You cannot refuse a companion that joins at the beginning of a journey. Movement into the omniverse is always a trip into the unknown, so you can never predict who will be an aid or a hindrance. It seems that he is ready to ride, so he cannot be presently determined to be a hindrance."

Giluchex seemed proud of himself as he said, "I have been sleeping in the saddle. However long and hard this journey is, I believe that I can handle it."

Ferrigote declared, "Special stirrups don't make you a special traveler, Giluchex."

"No, but it does mean that I am not looking to you for special treatment, Emperor Ferrigote. I have provisions. I have a horse. I even have some directions. I just ask to travel with you."

"Truthfully, I believe that horse you have been sleeping upon to be smarter than you. Still, let me say what I believe that you need to hear. Dirchein and I are taking Chorrik to Merkinnist. That is as far as our journey goes. From there, the lady and I have our own personal destination."

The spine of Giluchex straightened as the man appeared to come alert with the start of a debate. "But if I decide to join you there? Won't that be the start of another mission?"

"Yes, but before you join me on that one, I want you to write down what words you want me to say over your carcass."

"I accept that you and I are not friends, Emperor."

"Friends? I happen to consider you my enemy, Giluchex."

Chorrik suddenly turned as a buried fact surfaced in his mind, "That is right. You were originally on the other side of the war."

Giluchex returned, "Empress Straekin did not speak about victory, but about unification. The treaty agreed that both sides recognized that we were all at fault, and all worthy of the blessings of immortality. My constituents could have taken my hostilities into account and not voted me into office, but they did not."

"But you have been a living thorn in the side of our empress."

"I represent my district just as you represent yours, Chorrik."

Ferrigote grumbled, "Listen, guys, I don’t want to listen to the two of you talk politics the entire journey."

Giluchex quickly stated his own determination to say what he thought necessary, "But Empress Straekin sent her son to us to force us to look for answers. The problems that we have date back to that war. If Chorrik and I speak, it has to be concerning our history."

"Personally, I believe that your problems date back further than that."

Chorrik saw the eyes of Giluchex look to him as if to assure that he was not going to make a retort, then the man smiled as he said, "Okay, Emperor Ferrigote. You are leaving me and Chorrik in Merkinnist. I will thus save my political debates for there. This traveling will be new to me, so I will need to focus on where I and my horse are going."

"Good. Glad to know that you don't plan on sleeping in the saddle the entire way. It is just Ferrigote, though. I doubt that you can speak the language, but titles don't translate too well. Where we are going we have no authority anyway, so we just use our names."

Things went quiet for a time as Ferrigote and Dirchein readied their mounts. Chorrik noticed that a stable hand arrived to help him with his steed, but when Ferrigote finished with his horse he checked over Chorrik's as well. He watched as the work was done, understanding that he would have to do it on the journey.

As he finally worked to climb into the saddle, Giluchex moved his horse nearby to ask, "Is your wife pregnant?"

"How about yours?"

"Mine did not receive the blessing of a God."

"Yeah, well you and I are in that same boat as well."

Giluchex showed no reluctance to to keep a topic private as he strongly asked, "Is that what you are going to get?"

Chorrik tried not to show any embarrassment as he replied, "Thaunya and I are completely happy not having to change diapers, Giluchex. We also enjoy the night life."

Ferrigote said, "Come on. I don't want to stop your conversation, but we have a number of miles to travel."

Chorrik signaled his horse to start moving behind those of the couple. He had done some riding with his wife, but he had mostly had his horse walk while his wife showed off her control on the animal. He enjoyed watching his lady move, and while he stayed in shape he never found the desire or pleasure in pushing his physical ability. Riding this day was not a peaceful movement through managed terrain, but a constant plodding through a variety of wild landscapes. While the rising sun did bring out a desire to ask about oddities he saw around him, a weariness from little sleep and constant physical exertion caused Chorrik to wish he had thought of special stirrups. Focusing on staying in the saddle, he kept himself from speaking.

The aches from the ride built in the first couple of hours, but then slowly faded. Chorrik started the trip exchanging glances with Giluchex as each silently dared the other to actually voice the pain they were feeling. The couple chatted freely enough about the weather, details of altering dimensional paths, and specifics concerning the individual animals. By the time Ferrigote called for a break to the travel, Chorrik had actually begun to take part in the conversations.

Fire radiated all through his body as he hit the ground. He slumped to a squatting position breathing deep to deal with the pain. He could only guess that Giluchex also suffered as Ferrigote loudly spoke some words of advice.

"Walk around, guys. The pain is only unused muscles complaining. Get those muscles acting as a part of your entire body, and you will find yourself adjusting."

Giluchex rose as he said, "I took almost a whole bottle of pain medicine, but I still hurt."

Ferrigote chuckled for a time before saying, "Don't know what you were taking, but some of your fancy stuff separates and breaks down when they enter a universe with a different set of physical laws."

"What do you take?"

"Right now the pain is good for you. I will try to share some of my medicine with you when we stop for the night."

"Thanks." Chorrik noticed that Giluchex did start walking, then stopped to ask, "Ferrigote, does you wife have muscles?"

"Does that look like a machine to you?"

Chorrik worked to raise his form and stumble around as Giluchex tried to recover from being embarrassed. "Excuse me, both Ferrigote and Dirchein, mostly Dirchein, but the golden appearance of this lady is most amazing. It is hard to think of her as anything real."

"Considering that I am speaking to two men who have ladies of their own, let me say that everything is where it should be and works perfectly."

Dirchein decided to speak for herself. "Each part of me was designed from a living part and infused with a living spirit. I might have been made from gold, but gears do not move my limbs. I don't exactly bleed, but something moves through me that makes me just as alive as you."

Chorrik managed to take a few steps, and as he prepared to take a few more he said, "I saw you, Dirchein, playing with Venicht. Both of you move so fast. You are also from the world of Terish."

"Yes. I was rescued at the end of the journey where Ferrigote, Terish, Straekin, your wife, and a few others journeyed under the watchful eye of Terdeskollit."

"But you were in the room with the rock. Terdeskollit appeared when Venicht approached the rock. Have you had an encounter with Terdeskollit?"

Chorrik took some steps waiting for a response. He noticed that Ferrigote seemed focused on his wife, but thought that only natural. Managing to get his legs to take him in a circle, Chorrik saw that Giluchex also looked to the lady. Chorrick turned his focus to moving his body assuming that the silence was a negative. It strangely did seem to help his control of his body when she verified the assumption.

"No. I have never heard any god speak to me. Even those that normally speak to people."

Chorrik started feeling his aches begin to spread as he returned, "I guess that Terdeskollit has left Terish alone as well, but he bothers my wife."

Ferrigote spoke strongly, "I will want to hear Thaunya's report of that. If we need Terish, I will send for him."

"Dathol told him to move on."

"I like Dathol, but I will make up my own mind about Terish. I will also take care of my wife."

Giluchex stretched his body to work out some aches as he asked, "Well, Ferrigote, have you ever spoken to your god?"

"Of course. I have taken all of my sons to the church that Terish and I had built. We were at the prime of our strength. Terish was finally maturing. He and I had traveled and adventured through the omniverse for over a decade, and were growing wealthy. Terish could not go home, but I could. So we returned to my world, and I proudly went into a temple of my god to let him know that I had not forgotten him. The statue of my deity animated and spoke to me.

"My god asked me to perform a service. It sounded simple enough. Terish and I had fought horrible monsters and solved very complex riddles, so considered the task presented to us to be easily accomplished. I praised my god for making the service so minor, and joyfully agreed for Terish and I.

"We did more than my god asked. We did not just challenge the place where the item was held, but went into the realm of demons to confront those that had initiated the taking. The item was not only returned, but we conquered a brigade of demons that we put to work to restore the damage to the temple. When I again called upon my deity, I had a right to be proud.

"Terish and I were given immortality that day. My god told us that we had earned our place as heroes, but that we had more to do. We both presently believe that my god knew of the situation with Terdeskollit. Being immortal does not make one a god, but it has brought us one step closer to being able to associate with them."

Giluchex spoke as if eager to debate with the man. "I don't know about that, Ferrigote. We of Davelda have been immortal for well over six hundred years, and our Goddess has not associated with us."

"Have you ever asked her why?"

"I feel certain that somebody has."

Ferrigote moved to his horse as if to mount back up as he said, "At least Straekin got that right. She went looking for her answers, and not delegating the job to others."

Chorrik winced as his muscles complained when he twisted around to look at Giluchex. The man had not replied, but had turned to go to his horse as well. Chorrik fully expected him to make a statement of rebuttal. Giluchex was not one to allow any accusation to stand unchallenged. Chorrik thus worked to mount his horse wondering if he was seeing the beginning of a miracle.

The next period of riding was easier and harder than the first. Chorrik found his body managing the movement of the animal. His muscles however began to relax, and he found it hard to stay secure in the saddle. Realizing that the muscles that had been keeping him on the animal were highly fatigued, he twisted to put other muscles to work. As he felt his entire body becoming exhausted, he looked forward to the next stop and hoped that Ferrigote would allow time for complete rest.

Chorrik jerked himself alert as the couple suddenly signaled their mounts to rush ahead. He found himself barely in the saddle, but felt no energy to pull him back on top of the animal. Chorrik thus forced his hands to allow him to slump on the ground. As he sat down, he however felt a need to rise as voices began to call for him. Pulling on the reins, then on the saddle, he managed to stand next to the horse and walk ahead to join the others.

He saw the large boulder, and the remains of a campfire, but did not understand that they had any importance. He had been traveling through alien worlds all day. Chorrik had seen a number of animals, plants, and basic scenery much odder than the view before him. He forced his legs to carry him to a point where he could look beyond the trees, and noticed some mountains far in the distance. Gaining a sense of the geography however did not help him understand the strangeness of the setting, so waited for the others to explain.

Ferrigote said, "Chorrik, your wife made camp here, and it was here that she met Terdeskollit."

There were no markings that Chorrik could see giving any specifics. "Are you certain of that?"

"I believe that you said she left after lunch? This would be about right for her to notice that the light was failing. There is no reason why worlds would have similar cycles, but they tend to do so."

"Thaunya is all right though. I mean, no one told me that she had been hurt."

"No one told me either, but this is more than the apparition that Venicht saw. This boulder means that your wife faced the God directly."

Chorrik wondered how much Terish had left out of his report as he asked, "How much longer before we get to Merkinnist?"

Ferrigote snorted before answering, "If we travel for the rest of today, we should get there by the end of the day tomorrow."

Chorrik collapsed on a log that he assumed his wife used as a sitting place as well before replying, "I want to hurry to my wife, but I am so not prepared for this trip. Is this a good place to camp?"

"Yes, good enough. There is a stream not too far away. This is a nice open area where you can have a fire without bothering anything. If you want to go ahead and make camp, this can work."

Giluchex piped up with the question, "Are there better places?"

"Depends on what you are looking for. I believe that I can head out and get something for supper. I like the opportunity to have some fresh meat."

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PostSubject: Part Two   December 6th 2008, 8:12 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Seven

Part 2

Annalia stood in the doorway watching the hallway from the kitchen, and smiled as Venicht came through another doorway then rushed to her to say, "I am going to my room to get some candy. Mother brought me some from Thiminy, and they make better candy there."

"Not right now, Venicht. Supper will be in about an hour, and I don't want you spoiling the meal. You just came back in from playing outside. Why hasn't Nuverd told you to change clothes?"

"Oh, yes, Annalia, Nuverd did tell me that. He however was stopped by the education committee. One of my teachers canceled."

She could not remember receiving such a message, although it was Nuverd that had the responsibility for the education of the lad. Her job was simply to help the man deal with the world of Davelda. While she was the native, and the one most people should have recognized from her centuries of work with Straekin, the people accepted Nuverd and showed no hesitation to work with him. It seemed that his signs of advancing years gave him honor among those who did not age. Annalia thus found herself unable to say more than a comment.

"That is strange. Do you know which one?"

"The one that was supposed to teach me history. Giluchex?"

"That is even stranger, but I will speak to Nuverd. Go change your clothes, Venicht, then come here. You can help me cook while we work on your formal dining lessons. There will be a lot of those coming up, and I want you to act properly."

The lad did not move as he asked, "Annalia, the people are not going to allow my mother to not be empress?"

"No, Venicht, they are not. For her not to be their empress, you would not be their prince. I cannot say that you will understand when you get older, but I hope that you always think of your mother as being someone special. Now, go change clothes."

Moving back to the kitchen table, Annalia had an eye go to the monitor. Now that the butler had returned, she felt free to ignore the front part of the apartment, but having a young boy around caused to her to ever be watching for trouble. She thus noticed when Nuverd entered the front room. Annalia waited to hear him enter the back hallway, and relaxed when he called her name instead of having to wait to gain the information. The man did pause to detour in order to check on Venicht, but came on into the kitchen to mention what about the lad's education had changed.

"I don't believe that Queen Straekin knows that Councilman Giluchex left with Councilman Chorrik."

"That is very surprising, Nuverd. No, I don't believe she knows. She will however probably say that his absence is good for the whole planet."

He had learned enough of certain people to understand most references, so simply continued. "Another instructor has been gained, but won't be present until next week. The lessons will not be televised, but I believe Venicht's marks, if not every piece of work, will be available for public inspection."

"I don't doubt that he will ever lack a tutor."

Nuverd went quiet. Annalia knew that it meant that he had a question, but one to which he felt that he already knew the answer. She often laughed at him for spending time searching his own thoughts for the answer, as he could have gained the response faster by asking and usually ended up having to ask anyway.

"The people here are not happy that Queen Straekin has left them. They are removing the edicts against King Terish, hoping that the couple will stay here with their son, and bring the rest of their family. Thiminy is greatly pleased to have the couple there. I believe both lands are correct that their royal family should be together."

"So many children grow up without having even one home where they are loved."

"But this is not the proper place. I am not saying that Davelda does not have things to teach. I however do not see things allowing Venicht to grow. When he begins to become a man, this world does not have what is required for him to prove himself."

Annalia normally responded to such statements by telling Nuverd that they did not have to form any conclusions right now. She however understood that he was not opening the matter up for debate, but simply allowing her to hear his own inner thoughts. She considered that a good thing, so tried to form a reply that would keep him talking.

"I will be working to assure that there will be holidays back on Thiminy, Gaeskow, and maybe some other places where Venicht can get some broader experiences."

"But what is he going to tell those other people? 'I live in a land of adults?' This place is not natural. He is not going to get a proper childhood here."

"He is a child, Nuverd, so he will have a childhood. We are not expecting him to act like an adult. All you are complaining about is that there are not other children to terrorize when he is acting according to your expectations."

The man grumbled, "Well, you won't find me sliding down slides or jumping rope."

"And why not, Nuverd? Was your childhood so complete that you have no more desire to play?"

"There are things expected of me."

"Well, you have entered a world of immortals, Nuverd. We have time. Playing with a child is something that most of us have not done for a long, long time. Maybe, when you get older, you will find yourself wanting to go play with children."

He moved to get a better view of what Annalia was cooking as he said, "I don't believe anyone is telling me that I am hard on Venicht."

"No, Nuverd. All I am saying is that you are probably too hard on yourself. Spend some time playing. Just as Venicht is finding those to play with him, you could find others that enjoy playing your games."

Annalia looked up to see the lad at the door, so turned her attention to him. "Yes, Venicht. Do you want to help me peel the eggs?"

"No. Nuverd, one teacher is missing."

The man turned to give his attention to the lad. "What lessons do you feel will be lacking, Prince Venicht?"

"No priest has been chosen."

Both adults voiced the question, "What?"

"Munulva told me that she could answer my question, but that there were people who had the authority to teach me. She then said that none had been chosen."

Annalia wiped her hands before moving to the child as she asked, "You spoke to Munulva? Again?"

"She says that mother and father were correct in sending me here. There are questions that even she needs to find answers to. She however tells me to listen to my elders, as they have already discovered answers or are working on them."

Nuverd asked, "What question did you ask, Prince Venicht?"

"Why are there wings on the large spike on top of the church."

Annalia said, "Munulva is right, Venicht. I could answer the question, but a priest could probably give you a better answer, and answer other related questions as well. We should not have to schedule lessons, though, as we can go to the church whenever you desire. If there are no other demands on your time, all you need to do is ask Nuverd or me to take you."

"Nuverd does not worship Munulva."

"No, but I hope the goddess does not consider him an enemy. Nuverd does give allegiance to some noble deities."

The man felt a need to speak for himself. "I would take you, Prince Venicht. All you need do is ask."

"Can we go now? Annalia is preparing supper."

"Of course, Prince Venicht." Nuverd looked to Annalia, and she suspected the expression was of surprise to find the lad dressed for socializing and not for simply moving about the apartment with her opinion being verified with the man's words. "I believe that you are dressed accordingly."

Annalia watched the men leave the room and proceed down the hall. She then moved to watch the monitor to see the men leave the apartment. There had been an expectation that she might see something else, some sign of another traveling with the pair. Annalia finally turned from monitor to return to work as she wondered what had happened with the coming of Venicht that had caused the reclusive Munulva to suddenly desire to speak.

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PostSubject: Part 3   December 11th 2008, 7:56 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Seven

Part 3

Chorrik watched as Dirthein poured a dark liquid into her husband's mug, did the same for herself, then set the bottle out for either of the other men to help themselves before settling next to Ferrigote. The wine served with the meal came from Davelda. It had a proper vintage and was the proper type of wine for what was served. Chorrik thus looked at the new beverage wondering how it fit into the overall scheme of the evening repast.

The lady saw the hard gaze of the man and said, "It is a thick beer from the dwarves of Veriddian. They are the ones that befriended Terish, then told him that they preferred that he take over the country of Thiminy. I like it. Ferrigote prefers a lighter drink, but he can drink what he wants after I go to bed."

Dirchein's husband added, "I will watch over the camp tonight."

Chorrik nodded to the man as he moved up to pour some of the beverage into his cup. He put his nose almost in the liquid, but really could not determine any bouquet. He swirled his cup to see that while the beer moved slowly as if very thick, it left no residue on the sides of the container. Wondering exactly what type of taste the lady had, Chorrik took a sip of the liquid. He gasped and stepped back as a full experience of grain and what he thought to be flower petals overwhelmed him along with a high dose of alcohol. He looked to Ferrigote with relief as the man suddenly was present to help him back to his seat while joyfully speaking.

"Not exactly an expected taste, is it? You know after the first sip whether you are ever going to like it or not."

Chorrik looked back at his cup surprised that he not spilled the contents as he asked, "Do you get used to it?"

"Are you going to take another sip?"

"Yes, but I don't know if I can drink it all."

Ferrigote watched as Chorrik lifted the cup back to his mouth, but spoke before it touched his lips. "Well, if you are going to take the second sip then you will probably end up going for a refill."

"I doubt it. This stuff is potent.”

As the man laughed while returning to his seat next to his wife, Gulichex said, "Ferrigote, that dagger you wear over your heart has a strange type of hilt."

"Well, it isn't really a dagger."

He pulled the item from what could only be a scabbard set into a hole in his vest. The silvery blade of the object was very triangular with sharp edges. The hilt was of a heavy icon that appeared to have edges as well. Ferrigote did not hand the item to Gulichex, although did hold it out so it could be viewed easily.

"This is the holy symbol of my god, Fergursh. Up here is an anvil with a sun rising behind it. There is a story that tells the reason for the symbology. This bottom triangular part is kept sharp for making certain sacrifices. If you noticed, I threw the heart and part of the liver of my kill into the fire."

"I know that I saw you use it."

Ferrigote returned the item to its holder as he said, "I don't make a big deal out of it, but I do my best to follow certain requirements. When people ask, I will promote my god."

"And what if people convert?"

"That is between them and Fergursh. I am so used to being around those with other beliefs that if I were with another devotee of my god I would probably think of them as weird."

Giluchex did not laugh, but stayed focused on the topic. "Did you make your wife convert?"

"Why? I have loved every lady that willingly spent time with me, but to force them to stay by me through eternity? I am not that cruel."

Dirchein looked to her husband to ask, "Can I?"

"I took you to the temple."

"Yes." She looked at Chorrik and Giluchex as she commented, "It is really weird." Dirchein then turned back to her husband to ask, "What would I have to do?"

"A woman? I'm not sure. Next time we go to my world, we can go to the temple and let you ask. Until then, I can teach you a few things."

Chorrik felt a need to ask, "Your god doesn't accept women?"

"I don't think so, but he could. I believe women worship one of the ladies in the pantheon. I was in the military when sent from my world. I worshipped Fergursh because all of us in the infantry worshipped Fergursh. The major belief was that he didn't care about us common soldiers, but we tried to get his blessing all the same. I returned to him after all those years adventuring with Terish wanting my god to know that I did stay true to him, and now that I had obtained status I had come to claim some of his honor. I found that Fergursh had noticed me, and I have continued to worship him. Exactly what all the beliefs, rites, and other stuff of the religion never really interested me." With exasperation in his voice, he turned to his wife to say, "Ask Terish next time you see him. He will know."

Chorrik smiled at the lady as she innocently said, "Terish knows everything," to which he felt a need to admit a fact.

"He has a history of doing a wonderful job of being able to ignore the deliberations of the council."

Giluchex tried to defend himself as he said, "We never truly passed anything making him into a criminal."

"You tried."

"I just wanted the empress to know that my constituents felt that she had plenty of better choices among her own people."

"No one else would have made her able to bear children."

Giluchex's eyes again brightened as he saw an opportunity to debate. "Come on, the doctors found a way to make us immortal. They would have eventually figured out a way to have us produce children."

"They are not even trying. Say what you want about Terish, but he kept trying. His path did not seem to have anything to apply to Davelda, but time has proven him to be a major success. I am glad for Straekin, and have always been proud for my wife – who you connived to have spent time with Terish."

Chorrik found it strange that Giluchex did not make a retort. The man went out to the bottle of beer, poured some into his cup, then sat down before taking a sip. Chorrik watched the man's body jerk, then shiver before he spoke again.

"Noxious stuff, but I agree that it is potent. I am going to finish this, then see if I can get some sleep."

Chorrik looked at his cup, finished what was in it, then stepped out to pour himself just a bit more. He did not believe it to be noxious, but actually enjoyed the taste. There was no doubt however of its potency, so he made certain not to pour too much.

He awoke wondering if it was already time to rise. Chorrik remembered preparing his bedroll and lying down, but it also did not seem that long ago. There was an unusual light nearby that could not be associated with the campfire, so he rose.

Not feeling the blanket caused Chorrik to think something very strange had happened. He turned to look, and gasped with surprise in seeing his form still lying on the ground. Feeling very scared, he spun towards what light he saw. The vision let him know that he had awakened to something very strange indeed.

Ferrigote stood with his large blade that Chorrik could barely lift with both hands. The man did not glow, but his sword had a green shimmering haze around it. He stood protecting the sleeping form of Dirchein from a large humanoid figure that appeared to be clothed in some rough skin-tight suit set with controlled flames over certain areas. Chorrik had never seen the God, Terdeskollit, but had heard him described. Having other knowledge, he felt that he knew the situation, although wondered about it all the same even as he heard Ferrigote ask a question.

"Why have you come now?"

Ferrigote did not move, but reaffirmed his aggressive stance before the deity. Terdeskollit relaxed his hand that held a ball of fire and looked towards Chorrik. Staring into the eyes of a God did not have the over-powering aura that he expected. Chorrik expected Terdeskollit to speak to him, but the deity instead turned to Ferrigote in order to answer the man's question.

"I care, now."

"Care about what? We only know you as a God of destruction, Terdeskollit. Forgive us if we fear your attention."

Terdeskollit pointed towards the unarmed man as he asked, "Who are you? I do not know you."

"I am Councilman Chorrik of the Sulorrin district of Davelda. You know my wife, Thaunya."

The deity pointed with his hand not holding the fire to the large boulder. "That is my rock. You have set your campfire against it, probably to protect it from the wind. Well, I have come to sit down and talk to you just as I spoke to Thaunya."

Ferrigote boldly returned, "You were coming towards my wife."

"I gave her to you. I did not know who she was, but I listened as you read that diary. I went looking, and she was as the diary mentioned. I saw her as bait. You, Terish, and your companions came away from your time on my world with many benefits, but I believe that I gained from the experience myself.

"Others have come to my world. Your story has spread, and those uninvited came to ask for benefits. They could not survive. They gained nothing, and I did not either. There were once people on my world. I am told that they were a great people, because the one that remained is a great person. Dirchein is another from my world, and she is something special as well. I however did not learn from those from which they came. I don't understand."

Ferrigote continued to hold his sword at the ready as he said, "But you are a God. All knowledge is supposed to be yours."

"So I come to you as less than a God. I have entered the land of the immortals as an immortal. Now will you allow me to gain an answer to the question?"

Ferrigote returned, "Can you find an answer that does not require destruction? It is in your nature. That is all you have ever known. That is the type of worlds you have created."

"You care for the thing that I have given you."

"Yes, Terdeskollit. I am one of those going around bragging about the gifts that you bestowed. I am one of those giving others the desire to stand before you. I thank you for this lady."

Terdeskollit turned his gaze back on Chorrik as he said, "I first gave the blessing of life to Straekin. Her reaction was strong. She was scared, defiant, and confused. I liked it. I reveled in the flow of emotions. I thus gave the blessing to Thaunya. Her essence was filled with joyful memories of you and the children that came into your lives. Those emotions did not please me as much, but I paid attention to them all the same. I now wonder why I have not considered those emotions important before. I wonder if the people I made had them."

Ferrigote did not allow himself to be ignored. "Terish has those emotions, and Dirthein does as well."

"What I have created so far does not."

"All that you have created so far are monsters."

The deity looked around. Chorrik momentarily felt the gaze of the God focus upon him, then it moved on to study other things. When the eyes fell on the lady of gold however, the visage of Terdeskollit seemed to soften.

"Ferrigote, she can bear you children. Her body is an accumulation of parts, but it is becoming a single individual. Her eggs are of gold, but they can be made complete. Do not expect many children, or often, but you and her could go into the future with such memories as well."

"Then excuse me, Terdeskollit, if I appear even more protective of her."

"I still do not understand, but I will consider what I have heard."

Chorrik suddenly felt pain as muscles complained. He rose from his bedroll working joints glad that his meeting with Terdeskollit would not be remembered as only a faint dream. He looked around scared that he would see Ferrigote in a different position, or other sign that the experience had been imaginary or at some time in the past, but moved from his place of rest glad that he had someone who could verify the event and give comment upon it. He stretched his legs as he made certain of a fact.

"Ferrigote, you knew that I was present?"

"I recognized your voice. Don't you think that I was going to turn my gaze away from Terdeskollit."

"No, of course not," Chorrik quickly said not wanting the man to believe that any fault in him was being stated. "I just don't believe that I was material."

"That seems to be Munulva's way. Straekin says that she was immaterial when she first met Terdeskollit. I know Annalia said the same."

"Okay, but you heard me."

"The experience was real enough. Don't start expecting me to answer questions. I have always left that to Terish."

Chorrik imitated the speech of Dirchein as he said, "Terish knows everything." Ferrigote just grunted a chuckle as he smiled, but Chorrik felt it was enough of a response. "How late is it?"

"It is about the middle of the night, but you and Giluchex went to bed rather early. You have had a few hours of rest."

"My body is too stiff to allow me to go back to bed. Let me give you a few hours. I need to consider answers."

"Okay. I am going to the stream to take a bath, so if you find yourself needing something you can ask when I return."

Chorrik walked around while moving his arms in order to start working off the aches of his body. He looked to the horses, and wondered if there was anything he could do to ease his coming travel. He then looked at Giluchex, and wondered why the man had not been awakened by the arrival of the God. Chorrik moved to the coffee pot. The whiff of the brew caused him to consider making another pot, but he did not want to bother Ferrigote who was down at the stream. Considering that he had committed himself to staying awake a number of hours, he went ahead and poured the liquid into a cup.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
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