Sunday, December 28, 2014

Page 927

Zeff could feel his brethren crowding in around him, as if preparing to shield him with their very bodies. Rayen and Octavia stood in front, Evangelina and Santos in back, while Socorro circled around to the right.

And they weren’t alone, either. Farther away, servants from the five presiding families had gathered to observe. They squatted inside blown-out buildings or stood upon nearby rooftops or hunkered behind manmade barricades, and there was no doubt in Zeff’s mind that they would all jump in to lend a hand if the need arose. Not necessarily to protect Zeff, of course, but certainly to protect the respective head of their household.

“Ha...” The sight of their collective body language seemed to make an impression on Sanko. “You Rainlords... you certainly are a curious lot. You asked me to save you from this mess, and yet now you believe you can defeat me?”

“We didn’t ask you to save us,” said Rayen. “We asked you to do your job. Out of respect for the Vanguard’s jurisdiction, though that respect is diminishing rather quickly at the moment. And, perhaps, we also hoped that corruption had not spread to your core.”


“Do you not consider yourself responsible for the actions of your men?” asked Octavia.

Sanko fell briefly silent as she looked over her audience another time. “Honorable Rainlords,” she said, almost laughing. Whether it was amusement or awe, Zeff could not rightly tell. “Nearly to the point of madness, but honorable nonetheless. Very well. Let us speak terms. What would it take to placate your anger here?”

The six ruling Rainlords exchanged looks with one another.

Octavia was the first to speak up. “This is why we wanted to have a meeting earlier. We have three conditions. First, you must return Francisco Elroy and the reaper Dennex to us. Second, you must also give us Xavier Lawrence and the reaper Dergoz, so that we may ensure they are given a proper trial for their crimes.” And perhaps Octavia expected to be interrupted there, because she paused.

But all Sanko said was, “And the third condition?”

“The Vanguard must leave our territory. That means all of Sair west of the Waress Mountains, including Rhein’s Keep here.”

“Quite demanding, that last one.”

Octavia returned a thin smile. “In another age, we would have simply executed all of your men without consulting you.”


  1. "In this age, we find it more useful to lure the superior officers into the ambush as well."

  2. Haha. That wouldn't make much sense, though, considering they didn't know she would show up by herself.

  3. I thought half the Rainlords were part of the Vanguard? Are they resigning en masse? This could put a serious crimp in sorting things out when Parson and Lamont's treachery comes to light.

  4. So that's make them the fifth group of powerful servants, first there is the Vanguard, then Abolish, the neutral Saihee, and the Vahgrakaanas.

  5. They didn't? I thought that the expectation was that they would send someone who could help make Lawrence and Parson answer for their crimes, and that someone who can threaten everyone into behaving, on both sides, is close enough.

  6. I'm kind of surprised that they are demanding Lawrence and not Parson. And even Parson apparently had orders from higher up that led to this mess.

  7. Steve, a two things.
    One: When Sanko first showed up surprise was expressed that she was alone and she said her reason was that she came to talk, not to fight.

    Two: They need secret identities for one, because they may have family who became reapers like then, and who's to say their family line ended there? Heck, they may have kids! Also, friends or PLACES they care a lot about, such as their former home if it still stands. All of this could be used against them, so it would be best for their enemies, or even their friends who might not always be friends, to not know about it.

  8. head off their household. Head 'of'

  9. Well to be fair, most people still think he's rather clueless and is more of a fighter and idiot who's just powerful, as he hides his actual (devious) brilliance. So they must think that Lawrence would be a better idea to take as he would be the brighter one.

  10. Oh, yes, they knew Sanko was coming. That was brought up several times. But they didn't know she would show up alone. They expected an entourage of her own subordinates for extra security. Wendy mentions this at the bottom of page 920.

    It's not so much a "secret" identity as it just a "new" one. The old identity slowly disappears as it becomes more and more protected over the years. Also, even if their "loved ones" died a while ago, they might still have descendents that would be put in danger.

  11. As a wise man once said, you don't argue with results.

  12. Not all of them. I don't think even half the families are officially aligned with Vanguard. Most were on friendly enough terms, though. For long enough for people like Sanko to get a little too complacent with the arrangement. :|

    All have been Rainlords first, Vanguard... maybe. <_<

  13. It is half the families. Elroy, Stroud, Zabat, Sebolt and Cortes, out of ten. Probably not half the Rainlords, though, since I know that Elroy and Cortes are both fragments. Elroy was almost destroyed in that incident with Parson's secret troop movement, and then Joana split off from the remnant to found Cortes.

  14. And this is why we love Octavia. But seriously, can Ibai eat Parson and Overra? Please?

  15. I wouldn't complain at all about that. As long as it doesn't set Ibai off, forcing people to kill him. That would be a bummer.