Fantasy. Alain Harper and fellow Lightchild Basil Bridgeland receive the Scroll of the Mandate of Heaven. Together they confront Duke Henry Highridge, his bastard brethren, his wife and his army in order to prevent the sack of House Highridge’s newly gained holdings. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

THRONE WARS 04

Fantasy. Alain Harper and fellow Lightchild Basil Bridgeland receive the Scroll of the Mandate of Heaven. Together they confront Duke Henry Highridge, his bastard brethren, his wife and his army in order to prevent the sack of House Highridge’s newly gained holdings. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

******

Alain appeared in a flash of light just outside the small complex dedicated to the Lord of the Realms on Sept-Ternia. Its caretaker was a Lightchild of the Black Tribe, Basil Bridgeland, and his Sentry, Rose Thornwing. Basil was an old training partner of Alain’s under the same Blademaster, the famous Bakbuiel or “Old Bakbuk”. Rose’s Alpha Mode was feminine in form and had copper-red wings, a rarity among Sentries.

The court of the complex and the Hall of Light at its center – a K’nesset rather than a Miqdash in Adamic, a Hall of Assembly rather than a Holy Place or Temple in Common – seemed deserted, almost desolate. It was natural enough to expect no visitors on days other than a Sevenday or a Lunisolar Festival, when the Assembly of Light or Qehal ha-Or met to worship and to learn. But the Covenant of Light was a new and foreign religion here, and not a popular one.

Which doesn’t excuse Basil from not using his spiritual gifts to promulgate it more, Alain thought. It’s natural for a Ne’fi like me to delegate, and so I delegated the job of preaching to him, but unfortunately Basil the Ne’ti also prefers to delegate. And if he slacks off on teaching others in the first place, then he has no one to delegate to and nothing more gets done.

“Raphael, status of Basil and Rose, please.”

“One moment. Basil is reading the Covenant Codex on Rose’s data pane: the Five Books specifically, with the Commentaries.”

Well, at least he remains as adept a Starbard as he is a Blademaster – for all the good either is doing Sept-Ternia. “Have Rose announce our arrival, please.”

“Acknowledged. Basil will meet us at the door.”

Basil opened the door from the inside with a guarded expression. He was as young-looking and handsome as any Lightchild, and not all that much older than he looked; and he had the general Air brand of intelligence which commanded Alain’s respect. But Alain was older than any created being in the Metacosmos by eons beyond count, if you included his past as a Son of God in Power in the First Realm – a past he now remembered. That memory gave his Ne’fi persona an unusual gravity that everyone noticed, especially those like Basil who worked under his authority.

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