Intermission - 10 Years of Peace
Ichtaca rules over the Norlythe. He rules well, and accomplishes some exciting things, including building airships with Tobias’ help, starting controversial railroad lines, and driving out aberrant life from the Norlythe. He marries eleven more concubines, including Pashi, and starts a large family. He is visited often by many of his old friends, though he has not seen Darius in years. He re-names the hill in honor of Vash. (See the link at the beginning of episode 48 for details on all of this, followed by a story that takes place in the hours leading to the episode!)
Settles down with Lyda and starts a family. Teaches at the university, takes over administratively, and prepares for his Masters journey, but keeps putting it off. Visits Ichtaca in the Norlythe often, as well as Queen and King Anelathem in Telgard. Is visited by Catzin, and lives nearby Carmenith, who becomes his protegee at the university. (Story in-progress!)
Darius cuts off all contact with his friends, but keeps tabs on them when he can. He doesn’t wear the meteor bracer very often, but enough so that the others get an occasional sensation that he is alive, somewhere. He travels the world searching for his birth father, Omechroth Tessamach, sometimes hitch-hiking invisibly on the Harlequin’s trading missions. He wipes out some starborn cells along the way. It’s slow, frustrating, dangerous, and solitary work, with lots of “deep cover” involved. Rarely at first, but more and more towards the end, he tracks down Catzin, and, without revealing himself, follows her on a job, helping her without her ever knowing he is there. Finally, after years of dead-ends, he has taken on the role of a man who he knows has regular, in-person dealings with Omechroth. He just didn’t realize these dealings were only every one or two years … (Story in-progress!)
Carmenith: Carmenith is haunted by Vash’s death. She lives down the road from Lyda and Tobias, and is Tobias’ protegee at the university. A smaller version of her tree remains, a part of her soul now, not an artifact. It’s a gift from the goddess Iala. When Carmenith died, a physical version of the tree grew out of her body, and she was reborn from a pod on that tree. As the great spirit-tree floated away, her soul flowered with a new, smaller version of it; one that is both divine and psionic, that is a natural part of her soul instead of an artifact, and one that she can use, representing a new gift of magic from the goddess Iala. Carmenith, once nervous around magic, is now a magic-user. Her gift is unique, and Tobias, Lyda, Professor Jennish, and sometimes King Losoran Anelathem are all working together to help her figure out how to use it. Gorgeous, exotic and rumored to be an heiress, Carmenith has attracted many suitors and fortune hunters, but refuses them all, and often relies on her friends to help her avoid them. She keeps her theiving / spy skills sharp, because whenever Catzin is in town, these skills are put to the test.
Lyda: Lyda is happily married, having children, and settled down with her family just outside Athelshoth. She runs a small clinic and is gaining considerable local renown as a healer. She sees Carmenith nearly every day, and keeps in regular touch with Catzin via sending pouch. She manages the trade and finances for the Harlequin, and has been investing Carmenith’s money for her, since Carmenith refuses to touch the money Vash left her. Whenever Catzin is in town, Lyda, Carmenith and she go off on their own small adventures. Lyda has written several manuscripts for books, but has not published them yet. She’s finished one, a study of magical healing techniques across varying magical methods and power sources, but can’t decide what to call it. She’s written three volumes of a series of books titled “Comparative Physiology and Practical Medicine: Races of Vinramar.” Each volume uses Heathfolk as the baseline, comparing them to other races and discussing the particulars of comparative treatment techniques. Her finished three volumes include humans, the three fey kindreds, Jharethil and Jharu, and Goliaths. She’s currently working on notes for a fourth volume involving mimmessarchs and “shape-changers”, as well as daemons. Caught in endless revisions, Lyda has yet to publish any of these works.
Catzin: With Vash’s death, Catzin sent her shadow-servants back to Olumarsilein just before the worldfire made all such travel impossible. Even planar gates are no longer working, unless they lead elsewhere in Vinramar or its associated realms. Catzin visits Tobias and Lyda’s growing family, and Ichtaca’s, as well as Queen Ina and King Losoran. She’s been working assassination jobs and clandestine missions, slaying vampires, but she rarely speaks of it. When she visits the royals, she often takes delicate jobs for them. When she visits Athelshoth, she usually takes Lyda and Carmenith out on “training missions” with her. It’s a thinly veiled excuse to spend time with her two friends. She has not seen Darius since the events surrounding Vash’s passing, and Carmenith begins to suspect that Catzin’s farther and farther-flung assassination jobs are in search of him, or his killers. She leaves flowers where Vash died once a year, on the anniversary of his death.
Professor Athelsheth Jennish: Athelsheth is back in Athelshoth, at his beloved Abríannach University, teaching astronomy and arcane studies. He is blissful to have Tobias and Lyda married, producing grandchildren, and living so close to him. They see him all the time, and he is drinking far less these days.
Ambassador Losoran Anelathem and Queen Inalenderil: After about a year on the throne, Ina married Losoran, taking on the name of Queen Inalenderil Gahnalende Amraseth Anelathem. Lumithan (son of Linwë and Enarran Amraseth) and Farrendur (son of Linwë and Darius) were given the last name of Gahnalende, and are being raised as the Queen’s wards, right alongside Ina and Losoran’s three other children.
Chamanaltia: Chama tends the cure garden in Maricuälatán, and another in Telgard. She travels the world on the Harlequin in a mission jointly funded by King Losoran and Emperor Ichtaca. Using drow communities as intermediaries, the mission is to distribute the cure for the Némelethe to afflicted areas all over Vinramar, making drow elves the bearers of the cure in an attempt to improve the condition of the drow while distributing the cure. A side bonus is the profits of the sale. They don’t charge too much, but they charge enough to make a profit overall. This is also opening up new trade routes for both The Norlythe and Telgard.
Mezeliar Wroth: Wroth is still tangled up in the worldfire’s lower edge, caught by his hair. He’s still watching events in the known worlds with interest, interfering with persons of interest to him, and directing the Daemothite sects until Daemoth’s much-anticipated return.
The drow gathered by the shadow-gate: The ildanun Vash sent to gather under his banner at the shadow-gate in Illuithum have begun construction of a great city there, a city-state like those of the eladrin in that region. It is called Huilmuírthanwë, meaning “city of the shadow-king” in old Losandrae. Huilmuírthanwë has drawn drow from across the continent, and counts Queen Inalenderil and Emperor Ichtaca as their staunchest political allies. Although Forlortha, Jukai, and Emriel are worshoped here, they also harbor a strong Avan community within their sheltered walls, although they do not advertise this fact. The Avans have long rescued abandoned drow children, and continue to do so, gaining status within the growing Ildanun city-state.
The war-forged and the crew of the Harlequin: After Vash died, and after Losoran had recouped his expenses on the Harlequin, Losoran gave the airship to Carmenith as a gift representing his appreciation for the Drow’s sacrifice in the mission assigned, and his regret that Carmenith was subjected to so many trials in the completion of his mission. He also felt that since the making of the sought-after spirit-tree also made the ship’s currently unreplicatable sheild, Carmenith should have the ship. Carmenith, horrified by this expensive gift and the reminder of what she has lost, has given its management entirely to Tobias and Losoran for now, and refuses to even look into the bank account of trade profits Lyda is managing for her. Technically, Captain Harr and the crew all work for Carmenith now, but the warforged are with them, still attuned to Tobias’ will. The ship travels the world with Chamanaltia, distributing the cure for the Némelethe, establishing cure gardens in drow communities, and establishing new trade routes with the drow as their preferred points of contact in each port.
Other Characters: Linwë lives in Modgard, where she has married her cousin and now sits the throne as Queen Linwë Gadothea. Tuoch stayed with Inalenderil until watching her happiness with her new husband became too painful for him. He departed for parts unknown. Chorrom Caral Viln has enjoyed increasing influence, power, and prosperity worldwide, although not as much in his homeland of Trentsmund. Emperor Ichtaca has subtly thwarted the Daemothite sects in nations near and allied to the Norlythin empire. Master Temu Jenmai and his two students Casimir and Mozral helped bring King Enarran Amraseth into his forced sanctuary-retirement at Always Falling, but later left to travel the world fighting aberrant life. The order of the Silver Hand hears from them often enough. They were last heard of in Syrikhal. Former King Enarran Amraseth is no longer mad, so long as he remains in Always Falling, under the constant care of a team of psionic healers. Each of his attempts to escape have resulted in him being reduced to a gibbering, helpless lunatic, easily brought back to the temple by his caretakers. Prince Imba Tlaxmetl has married Spirit Elder Mahua’s apprentice Kitla, whom it turns out he was in love with all along. This is why he didn’t wish to rule; he didn’t feel he could marry a half-colonial and sit on the throne. Princess Zurin is said to be brazenly pursuing the younger King Halden Thandemar, when he has not expressed any interest, not even for the sake of a political alliance.