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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 13

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 13   February 9th 2009, 8:08 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Thirteen

Part 1

Dirchein looked at the tree where she was about to tie a rope in order to have a place to dry wet clothes. There were signs all around the area of a multitude of groups camping in this place over untold ages. The grass tried to grow, but a large section of ground around a stone fire pit had itself turned to stone due to the pressure of untold number of feet. The tree she had approached had been chosen due to a scar stating that it had a life of supporting ropes. Above the scar however was a bare section with marks she could read.

"*Only a fool challenges the hot creatures of the night. I survived the day, and brought my friends with me. Drink water. Bring water. Climb down the cliff, and run. You can make it. Terish.*" Dirchein looked around to see if another heard her, then shouted to assure that he heard. "Ferrigote! There are words here from Terish."

The muscular man came from putting some saddlebags in a tent. While she had spoken loudly, they were not shouts of fear or pain, so his stride showed no hurry. His eyes had naturally moved about. While they paused as they rested on his wife, he spoke fully knowing about what she had called out.

"The common announcement is on a rock along the path that leads to the distant town. Sanfellin had the rock quarried, carved, then brought to its position. Terish wrote this the day we returned while the men that went with us partied."

"Why does he write in his native language? There is no one else to read it."

"That is my fault. I knew how to read and write, but not well. It was the one thing that I could not teach Terish, but he could teach me. Desiree had actually managed to teach Terish some of the inter-dimensional language, so he could speak to me. I didn't know any other language, and his tongue was better understood than mine, so I learned his. It was as he sought to learn puzzles that he learned other languages, puns don't work well in translation even with the inter-dimensional tongue, that we both learned things about the life we were thrown into."

Dirchein smiled realizing she was learning one more interesting fact about her husband. "You and he were speaking the inter-dimensional tongue and didn't even know it?"

"Yeah, we are two people that definitely know the difference between being foolish and being ignorant."

"This journey was done early in your career?"

Ferrigote moved to help his wife string the clothesline as he answered the question. "No; not that many years ago. It was one of those journeys that we might talk about taking, but never did it. Sanfellin came to Terish and me after Terish regained his sanity, and petitioned us to finally make the journey. If you catch me in these periods when Gaeskow is basically running itself, I am generally an easy target for adventure. Terish is always an easy mark for anyone going where no one has been, and this place has a history of being an unclaimed jewel."

"But if it is so recent, why is it in the tongue of his world? Surely he knew it was dead."

"Hey, you don't do some things for yourself. People actually look for that strange writing, not to read it, but simply as evidence that Terish had indeed been present."

"And we are going there tomorrow?"

Ferrigote wrapped an arm around his wife and started her moving as he said, "Come here, my golden lady. Let me show you where I am taking you."

Dirchein had seen the sand along the shore of a nearby deep pond. She had also noticed the grainy texture in the hard surface near the fire pit. Ferrigote had told her that they would be crossing a desert, but she really had not seen any sign of desolation. The trees around her were hardwoods, although she had noticed that they were not of the height usual for such trees. They however did not give the impression of suffering, but merely of being smaller versions of the trees she knew.

After walking over a hundred yards with her husband, the golden lady saw what appeared to be a yellow portal in the path ahead of her through the trees. Having traveled with her husband, she had seen many passages between worlds. Dirchein thus suspected that was to what she was being led. Instead of moving towards an opening to another universe, the presence of a more terrestrial change became evident.

The trees ended along with all other indications of life along a line of sand. The wind blew along the edge of the natural barrier carrying grains that hit the skin like miniature embers. Not that far away, a dune of sand blocked off the glare of the descending sun.

Ferrigote said, "If we climb that dune, we should be able to see our destination. What you tend not to see is the cliff. Most die of heat or fire demons while attempting to find a way down the unexpected escarpment. We used gold rope to descend that cliff. Gold rope that I had found in my search for evidence of you. I was hoping to find more evidence of you, but of the group of us I was the one to come home lacking."

"You found evidence of me while traveling with Terish?"

"Well, not exactly." The expression on the man's face indicated that he had told his wife certain things, but she smiled while waiting for him to say them again. "Terish had an adventure with a golden lady. She was mechanical, but had a spirit inside her that caused a rather strange adventure. When I heard him mention the story, I remembered some rumors that I had heard. I began doing my own research, which had me take on the adventure where I gained the gold rope. I eventually ran out of my own ideas, so took what evidence I had to a creature that lives in the center of all universes and collects knowledge. I gained a number of books from Galabur right before our trip to Terdeskollit's world, so the diary of your creator was in my bag for Straekin to find when I traveled with Terish on that adventure."

Dirchein realized that she had heard the story before, and in more detail, although still sought the recent words believing them to have meaning in the recent situation. "Straekin contacted us last night. She was worried about Terdeskollit coming to us. She was really worried about me. Terish and Straekin want us to be happy, but safe as well. They are good friends. Terish is traveling again due to Terdeskollit, but you don't want to go with him."

"I have what I want."

The lady did find pleasure in those words, but she did not stop her line of thought from having her say, "And Terish is finding pleasure with Straekin. That is not the point. You and he have a history of working together to assure each other of their goals. I want to be a part of your life, Ferrigote, and that means not stopping you from going to the aid of your friend."

"Dirchein, you are made of gold. Terish is going down into a great lake to meet with beings that don't want to be bothered. You will drop like a rock into a very dangerous place. Everything about that says to keep you away."

"I am from the same world that Terish is from, Ferrigote. He is not looking for himself, but for those future people that Terdeskollit will create. I was not made by Terdeskollit, but by someone like Terish who cared for something other than himself. I love you, Ferrigote, and will be your wife for eternity, but I was made to help and support others. Terish is attempting something grand, something beyond himself, and I believe that we should help him."

Ferrigote groaned, "Why didn't you tell me this before?"

"Because I was doing what was right, and going with my husband. You are not simply taking me someplace, but someplace that shows your love for me. You are wanting me to see and realize the extent you went to in order to gain me. I appreciate that, Ferrigote, and I want to see, but not now. You have been involved in the story of Terish long before you met me, and somehow in gaining me you have been involved even further. It is time that both of us continue to do what is right and go join Terish."

"Dirchein, I have you and don't want to lose you."

"Ferrigote, I am yours. You have a life however, and you sought me because I would be someone that could share your life. Well, if I were not with you, you would be with Terish. Thus, you and I need to be with Terish."

"Okay, I know where Terish is heading. Let me check the paths."

Dirchein watched as Ferrigote knelt while his hands danced. She did her own mental calculation of the distance, but understood that inter-dimensional travel did not move along normal paths. When Ferrigote rose, Dirchein realized that she did not need to second-guess her husband.

"The horses need rest, but we are going to push them. Two days of hard travel to get us to the path. There is one place where I will have us pause while I study what I see through dimensions. It could give us some hours."

"Thank you, Ferrigote. I have only been with you a short time, but I consider Terish my friend as well. Terdeskollit is also my God, so some resolution with him would make me feel better."

"I love you, Dirchein. I have taken on adventures for less causes than someone as dear to me as you are. You are also correct about me being with Terish. I look forward to ending each day with you in my arms, and starting each day with you at my side. If you weren't there however, I would be with Terish."

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PostSubject: Part 2   February 14th 2009, 8:08 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Thirteen

Part 2

Straekin watched as the Hurtual moved away. She had come out to spend time with her husband that was outside going through certain exercises and drills. While she sparred with Terish, a minor Hurtual leader approached to give an update on their siege of the humans. The conversation had been friendly, and ended after each gave the other good advice. Straekin however found herself confused by the words from the Hurtual.

"Terish, did he just say that Ferrigote was coming to meet us?"

The man moved to hug his wife as he replied, "Sounded like it to me. You contacted them a night ago, didn't you?"

"They said that it sounded like we could handle it. Ferrigote really wanted to take Dirchein to that city of gold."

"Well, I will contact them tomorrow. If they are going to make it, they will need to travel hard. If they are coming to meet us, it might help if we plan our routes."

Straekin broke from the embrace to look at her clothes. A luxurious garment did not cover her form, but the texture of the cloth, the brightness of its color, and the quality of its cut did put it as appropriate attire for one of her rank. She decided that it was something to dance in, so returned to Terish to see if he would actually follow her lead as she continued the conversation.

"Still, Terish, how would the Hurtual know?"

He saw what his wife was doing, shrugged his shoulders, then tried to move in the proper manner as he answered, "Dathol, I, and Giluchex already told you that the gods were active here. Don't think that they don't talk to each other."

"Who would know to tell? Ferrigote's god is not on the level of Terdeskollit, Sanver, or Munulva. I mean, you and Ferrigote traveled for years without Fergursh being aware."

"He had been informed about something before we came to him, because he certainly knew who we were. Anyway, we can ask Gote and Dirchein when they join us. We have our own concerns. If Gote needs us to worry about him, he will tell us to worry about him."

"He is obviously worrying about us."

"And if he was going to an unknown place directed by a normally malevolent entity, I might be the one rushing to join him. He and I have been to the city of gold. We know how to do it, safely. We also know how to move through the omniverse. I am not worried about him."

Straekin moved up to hug her husband and kiss him, then said, "Thank you for dancing with me."

"What's the rush?"

She turned to look at the surroundings. There were some clouds in the sky, but the stars and a large glittering moon clearly provided some illumination to the landscape towards the castle. The space beneath the trees momentarily would brighten due to the illuminating tail of insects. As if satisfied with the sight, she answered the question.

"I remember the sky when we stayed at Kingsport once before. Last time we were running from Terdeskollit however, not doing a job for him. I don't want Terdeskollit getting impatient with us."

"I never played that game, Straek. I always took my time. Of course, it helped that I tend to move slightly faster than most."

"I like your stamina, boy, not your speed, but it is your mind that keeps me satisfied between our times alone. We are not being told something."

Terish heard his wife's statement, and accepted that he needed to explain something. "I believe most of what Terdeskollit said, only not his conclusion. Why not have us get some divine water from Sanver's Heaven, or that of Fergursh, of even Munulva? I truthfully believe that having sought the Fountain of Life from Munulva's divine realm to be scarier than traveling through that of the sleeping gods."

"Why is that?"

"I have never spoken to Munulva. I have spent so much time on Davelda, and worked with you and the other people of Davelda. I taught you magic and how to travel to other worlds. I dated the empress of the world. Munulva never came to me and gave me pointers, advice, or even a threat. I don't mind the council not liking me, but I have at times been worried that Munulva did not like me."

"I worship Munulva, Terish. If there was some divine displeasure with you, I promise you that I would have been informed, or sensed it. Or at least a priest would have told me."

The last phrase came out as a forced statement of false conviction. She saw her husband look at her as if recognizing that she was hiding something. Straekin knew from experience that Terish would become guarded had he sensed distrust in anyone else. He trusted her however, and while he could not reason out her thoughts he accepted that she did not seek his harm. To prove his support of her, he gave an informed reply.

"Listen, Straek, the sleeping gods have given advice in the past. They won't simply say, 'Yes, go get some water and let us get back to sleep.' They should be able to tell us why their water is what Terdeskollit wants."

"I should have known that you did not trust him either."

"Well, I am still hoping for a handshake and a dinner. Not right now, however. Something is changing with Terdeskollit, but this is only a time of transition. We fought before, Straek. Ferrigote is coming. Between the two of us, we only have a winning record."

The lady moved to hug her husband as she said, "Only one loss, Terish, only one loss and I would have lost you forever. There was no eternal reward for your people, and there is no eternal reward for you."

"Maybe not for me, Straek, but after a few years hope became possible for my people. Especially after Gote and I had that church built. Whoever the next Desiree would have sent, the next Terish would have found markers, directions, signs of faith and support for their cause. I might not be alive, even alive in another reality, but my memory would live on. Terdeskollit might be forgetting his people, but his people will not forget his people. I love Ferrigote as a brother. He and I have faced death together a multitude of times. I am so glad that he was the one to gain Dirchein. Ferrigote will see that she knows about her world, and what to tell those future Terish Dozzrines. Terdeskollit will eventually have that handshake with someone."

Straekin continued to hug her husband as she said, "I always said that Munulva never spoke, because she never had to. As horrible as the war was, we found the proper answer. Trust me, Terish, Munulva knew I had chosen a good man when I chose you."

"Well, she supposedly spoke to Venicht. I guess that it means that she does feel some need to speak to the new generation."

"That scares me, Terish, because I feel that it means she does not trust us to teach the child properly."

"It could also simply be that she loves children, Straek. She hasn't had a child on Davelda to speak to for centuries."

"I hope that you are right, Terish." Straekin did not like having to say something that sounded pessimistic, so worked to put the phrase in a proper context. "You have to understand that I did not have anyone to fight for in that war. My fiancé was killed before we could start a family. I took on the mantle of everyone's mother, but I never had anyone to care for personally. I then became to care for you. You are now my husband. Now I have children. I have never had a fight at this level, Terish."

"Gote has had a number of wives, Straek, and children. He always said that you had to fight for yourself. He always said that your successes would reflect in them."

"But you have to care," the lady replied appreciating not only that he continued to speak to her, but also that he continued to keep his eyes focused on her. "You have to be concerned, because your losses now apply to more than just you."

"But the losses still apply to you. The wins still apply to you. Don't complicate a battle."

"I would believe that, Terish, if you were telling me to go home."

"Which of Ferrigote's wives was the better one? Some I actually liked, but I still believe that Dirchein is the better one. She travels with Ferrigote as a companion with him. Others had traveled with Ferrigote, but always as wives. They always needed special treatment. You are my wife, Straek. You are not my nanny, my servant, or someone always bothering me for favors. I married you to have someone with me, and that is who you are."

Straekin put her head against the chest of her husband as she said, "I like that philosophy, Terish. I am glad that you are my husband."

~^~^~ ^~^~^ ~^~^~

Venicht could not help but turn around as he heard another enter the church. The large building was empty. The priests usually hung around seemingly grateful and amazed to have someone to teach. Venicht at first found it annoying that they constantly needed time to read certain books before answering his questions, but then found it annoying how they would start into lengthy lectures as they had again refreshed certain memories of their religion. The lad had come to understand that the only other people to bother the priests were those wondering about the next official ceremony, so for centuries never found a need for the answers he now sought. He turned his head thus wondering who else had come to disturb the tranquility of the place.

The lad rose knowing the lady was important. He had been shown pictures of her, but could not presently remember her name. The man with her helped, because Venicht remembered being shown his picture as well. Suddenly facts came to the forefront of his mind, and he raced forward to meet the couple.

"Councilman Chorrik, Lady Thaunya."

The woman dropped to a kneeling position in order to look the lad in the eyes as she asked, "Prince Venicht, you know who I am?"

"Oh, yes, as Annalia makes certain that I know those that have helped my mother. Both you and your husband have been shown to me. I had to watch your dances. Councilman Chorrik, your replacement in the council has been doing a wonderful job."

The man said, "Well, I am glad that you are showing an interest in politics."

"Well, Annalia edits the tapes for me. Most of it is boring."

"I find most of it boring as well, Prince Venicht."

"Why are you here?"

The lady replied, "Hopefully the same reason that you are here, Prince Venicht, to give honor to Munulva."

"Yes, although it is just mostly lessons at the moment. The priests are nice, but sometimes they talk too much."

"Did we interrupt you, Prince Venicht?"

"Yes, no, well..." The lad considered the reason for his confusion, then spoke further as he reached a conclusion. "Can I go through the motions with you? I am the only one in here. They left me here to practice certain steps. I however think that I am being taught how the priests do it, and not how the normal people do it."

"We should all be doing things the same."

"Yes, but can I see?"

Thaunya stood as she took a hand of the young man. Venicht saw Chorrik put an arm around his wife in a clear signal that he would walk with them. While the lad knew that the couple with him was not his parents, joy still showed on his face in being with people with which he felt a connection. As if to support that feeling, the man spoke of his knowledge of the youth's parents.

"Prince Venicht, your mother and father are again being sent into a troubling situation. Once again they are being joined by good competent people. Do not worry about them."

"I miss them. Munulva says that she likes the way my mother and father speak to each other, and that she hopes that events will not separate them. She says that Terdeskollit wants my father dead."

"That is a horrible, although probably true.." Venicht saw a disapproving glance from Thaunya directed at her husband, but was glad that he continued to speak. "Thing to say."

"Yes, but Terdeskollit needs advice, and he wants my father with him to help him understand some things."

Thaunya said, "I believe that your father is trying to direct Terdeskollit."

"Yes, but he is trying to also be King of Thiminy, a husband to my mother, and a father to me and my sisters. Terdeskollit does not want only part of my father's time, but all of it."

Thaunya stopped to again kneel and look into the eyes of the lad, "Prince Venicht, I was there when your father went into the divine realm to face Terdeskollit. Your father was not going to risk the life of Celatia, so went to challenge his God directly. If your father can go one way, he can come back."

"The rules don't work like that. Munulva says that there is a reason that the divine realms are separate from the physical. Something happens when we die, and it keeps us from returning."

"You might be right, Prince Venicht, but those reasons do not apply to Terdeskollit. Your father has faced his God many times and survived. There are other rules at play with Terdeskollit. Trust your father. He does not play fair if he believes that he might lose, yet he plays fair with Terdeskollit. That makes me know that he suspects to win."

Words from those that now taught him gave Venicht the confidence to say, "Especially with my mother beside him."

"He has Dathol and others with him as well."

Chorrik could not help but say, "Including Councilman Giluchex."

"Your father and mother sent you here to learn, Prince Venicht. They knew that you would miss them, but they also knew that you would be among people who would love you. Come on, Prince Venicht, let us take you to the altar so you can pray for your parents, then let us take you back to the castle. If you don't mind, I would like to dance with you. It has been centuries since I have been able to dance with a young man."

_________________
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.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 13
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