The Immanion Enquirer Archives

The Immanion Enquirer: Archive
A Collaborative Project

Notes

First posted 2001.

Morning Edition: EARTHQUAKE ROCKS CITY

In The News
by Ramestton Ara

Someone Tell Pell!!!

As Immanion slowly quiets down from the disastrous noise of the mysterious earthquake, the aftershocks of its significance are still trying to sink in to bewildered hara all over the city. The latest reports I have received from my sources is that the Tigron is blissfully asleep as his almost half of his magnificent city crumbles to the ground in utter ruins.

Nothing has been heard of him and some insist that he has gone on exile from the city, most likely to Megalithica, leaving the Tigrina in control.

This of course, is the latest news in a string of fast and ever-changing rumors that have been cropping up by the half hour. His press aides have just released a press statement insisting that he is not asleep but is meeting with the Hegemony behind closed doors. Curiously, Lord Cedony and Lord Glave have been sighted around their palatial residences in the posh, exclusive Thandrello area, supervising the clear up of debris and so has Lord Ashmael. Lord Dree is reportedly out of the city on official business to the north with one of the Tribe Ambassadors; and Lord Chrysm and Lord Arahal are with battalions of Gelaming soldiers patrolling the city to maintain peace and order. Sources have also sighted Lords Eyra and Tharmifex in the center of Pell’s Colossi assessing the damage to public infrastructure and are in the process of compiling together a relief package for affected families. So if all the Hegemony are busy attending to other much more pressing matters, who exactly, by the precious Agahma, is mighty Pell meeting with? That is the multi-billion spinner question we are all eager to find out.

This new development highly contradicts the first reports that were flying about that the earthquake was caused by the intense sensation of the aruna being performed by the Tigron and Tigrina as they tried for another child. This was dispersed within hours and replaced by a more disturbing rumor that the legendary Calanthe, who had been sighted arriving the city yesterday is more likely the cause of this disaster. My informants close to the seat of power have said that this Calanthe, known to many internationally as just Cal, possesses awesome power that rivals even the Tigron’s and had come here to oust the Tigrina and take his place. Labourers at the port had earlier reported seeing him with eyes of pulsing fire, storming his way first to Lord Ashmael’s residence and later this morning, to the Palace in the company of two strange looking hara of which one is reported to be the son of the Castlehane of Jael.

Some had also tried to start the scandal of him having murdered Lord Ashmael early this morning but the General’s assistant personally informed me that he was very much well and unharmed. All this had been swept aside with fresh news that it was the full force of Thiede, the Tigron and this mysterious Cal having an argument that had caused this earthquake. Events are still very hazy as most people at Phaonica have either eloped or gone into hiding.

Meanwhile, Prince Abrimel has been seen at the up-market, trendy Golden Unicorn Inn, drinking at the secluded bar with Lord Sorche (Lord Dree’s son), and stating that everything was under control but that his parents might abdicate the throne in favour of Cal, yet another stranger to us.

The very few who populated the bar frowned at his insensitivity to the disaster at hand but none had the temperament to voice the wrong of his actions.

After all, what were they too doing there in the wake of such a confusing development? Plus, he is of course the Prince. Waiters later inform me that the two disappeared into one of the luxurious apartments upstairs. This seems to confirm earlier snippets of grapevine news that the two are romantically linked.

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From Har to Maternity

From Har to Maternity
A Collaborative Round-Robin

Story Notes

This story was created as a round-robin back in 2001.

Here be parody and mayhem, caricatures and bejewelled livestock. Here be all manner of unsavoury ruffians and their wenches. Thou hast been warned. The characters in this ensemble bear no resemblance to any persons I know, nor do they bear that much resemblance to any of Storm’s characters; but that be a minor quibble.

From Har to Maternity

In the ballroom of Phaconia…

Cal twitched. Then he fidgeted. Pell shot him a sideways look. Cal sat still. When Pell looked away again, Cal scratched his crotch. He took another swig from the bottle he’d earlier purloined from a passing waiter, ignoring Pell’s dread look. He hated parties. No. Scratch that. He hated these parties. He liked good parties. This was not one of those. All the poseurs and wannabees preening and parading like prized bulls before the judges. How did Pell manage to keep a straight face. He watched one particular buffoon floating around amongst the guests, trying to impress.Rolling his eyes at the performance, he nudged Rue and indicated the overdressed har. Rue sniggered and Pell gave them both another of those looks. When he saw the object of their derision,however, Pell couldn’t contain himself and a tiny smile crossed his face.

All three of them felt the etheric blow as Thiede whopped them all upside the head.

-Behave yourselves.- He growled. -Or do I have to come down there?-

That’s not fair, Cal thought, idly rubbing his sore forehead. I’m forced to come to these things when I’d much rather be chasing Ashmael around the bed, and now, I’m not even allowed to think? The disembodied hand returned, patting him condescendingly on top of his blond head.

-Don’t think, Cal.- Thiede said soothingly. -You know it gives you a headache.-

Ah well. Perhaps Thiede was right. Maybe he should just go back to his second favourite sport, after Ashmael-chasing; people-watching. Cal pinched another bottle from the same waiter,who was returning from the distant kitchens where he’d gone for a reload. The harried waiter favoured him with a sour look on behalf of his sore feet and turned 180 degrees, heading back to the kitchens yet again. Now, Cal thought. Who’s who in Phaconia tonight?*

She was tall, that’s the first thing he noticed. Regal and aloof. Her black, wavy hair hung loose down her bare back, tied up at the sides with silver, ruby encrusted slides. Her eyes were black, with long lustrous lashes. Her garments were made of a shimmering, red material, that clung to her slender thighs and her ample breasts threatened to tumble out of their small covering. Her whole body was covered in sparkles, that reflected and shimmered in the bright lights of the ballroom. She came up to where Pell was seated and curtsied, never once lowering her eyes from his. Pell smiled and made a soft remark to Rue, who was completely unimpressed with this Kamagrian, who seemed to place herself above everyone else. Cal sitting on the other side asked who she was. “Parage. Her name is Celestial Firewalker.”

Hmmm, interesting. The Kamagrians were out of hiding. Ever since that little incident with Opalexian, the Garridan warrior and the stalk of rhubarb, the Kamagrians had been noticeable by their absence. It was good to see them back. Cal had begun to think they’d never get over the shame. As he took another swig, he noticed his waiter enter the room via another door. Cal decided he’d better slow down on the wine. He might not get a chance at another bottle.

Now, who else was here? Cal looked around.* He entered quietly, nodding courteously to guests as he passed them. Lithe, silent steps that sauntered coolly yet with purpose as he made his way towards the Triad. Calanthe’s eyes narrowed imperceptively………Thea?…….and then relaxed as he realized who it was and smiled wryly. This har always reminded him of Thea, he thought to himself and idly wondered whether Thea himself would be here tonight with his old friend Zack. The har made his way impressively towards the Trinity, turning heads as he went. He wore black leather trousers that hugged his lean hips sensuously and went on forever to disappear into thick, black, leather boots that reached just below his knees. A heavy but netted cream cotton shirt covered in silver embroidered symbols hung open at his throat where a necklace made of large opals nestled. The baggy sleeves of the shirt fluttered gently as he walked, clasped firmly around his wrists by large, sleek silver bracelets. He reached the dais and presented himself, bowing deeply, long luscious black hair falling forward. He straightened, looking up to see Cal grinning at him and he grinned back with mock annoyance on his face. It was plain to Rue that the har and Cal were obviously acquainted. Calanthe turned to Rue and Pell. “This is Ramestton Ava from the Ferike tribe. Met him when I was there with Thea.”

He then gestured for Rue to move in closer and they whispered for amoment while Pell’s attention was diverted elsewhere. The Tigron and Tigrina then glanced up, amusement glinting in their eyes and Cal addressed Ramestton, beckoning for him to come closer. The har smiled and came nearer.

Cal bent forward to whisper in his ear…. “Your zip’s undone, mate”.

Cal had the priceless joy of seeing the smile on Ramestton’s face collapse in double quick time.

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Deep in the Dark

Deep in the Dark
by Addie & Rameses

Introduction & Disclaimer

Credits & Acknowledgments:

To Storm, for letting us borrow her magnificent characters and making us learn new facets to their personalities.

And to my dearest friends who gave me much encouragement: Athena, my darling sis, who was so patient with me and let me have the fantastic honor of writing with her. *You’re a gem, love*

And to Mischa, the great connoisseur, whose keen-eyed editing called my attention to so many howlers and squiggles; and made this story come alive at Forever.

Spoilers: None

Characters: A Traveller, Calanthe, Pellaz, Caeru

Ratings: N/C 17 (Adult)

All items contained on these pages are non-profit amateur fiction. The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, The Bewitchments of Love and Hate, The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire and all characters named in those books are the copyright of Storm Constantine and her publishers. No infringement on the copyrights are intended.

Deep in the Dark

Part 1 (Rameses)

The Traveller

He was dying.

There was no question of it. He knew it. He could feel it.

This was his life’s climax? To die in the arid wilderness with the colossal range of mountains about him as his pallbearers or rather pyre bearers? They stared down silently at him, against the still, blazing sun, casting monolithic triangular shapes. In order they stood, like sentry soldiers, lifeless yet erringly watchful. The mountains and the rest of Mother Nature waiting to eventually reclaim his wretched corpse. What position would his bones have as the sand-laden winds engulfed them? Would they be in this slightly propped up position he was presently in or in a tangled mass of indistinguishable bones – assuming he could persuade one of the boulders above to came crashing down on his body first? That thought made him smile and as he made to give that smile a voice, he was wracked by another fit of coughing that hacked at his insides and left him utterly breathless. He spat a blob of greenish phlegm swirling with clotted blood and wheezed raggedly, licking his chaffed, wounded lips with a dry blistered tongue. He stared dully at the splat of slime, laughter spent. He would reconsider much more carefully before attempting another bout of mirth.

There was nothing else to stare at, so he continued to stare at the vile mucus, which was already beginning to shrivel up on the scorching rocks beside him. If he stared at the open plains, they would only tantalize him with phantoms of paradise. He’d seen enough mirages for a lifetime.

After a while he felt the need to change position. He shut his eyes in preparation for the effort. Not that it helped anyway because the sun still cast a reddish tinge inside his eyelids. He clenched his jaw as he made to roll onto his side. His shattered lower right limb screamed in painful protest and he screamed with it. His whole body seared with barely endurable pain. It was useless so he gave up the task.

Yesterday, he would have been able to shift whenever he became too uncomfortable from either the sharp, jutting rocks prodding one side of his entire frame or the merciless sun that slowly roasted his skin but now, he couldn’t be bothered. Pain from the leg was another luxury entirely. At first, he had tried inflicting wounds on his arms with a jagged rock in order to relocate the excruciating pain coming from his leg, a trick he had learnt decades ago, but it was useless. The pain would not budge.

That morning at the first splash of dawn, he had awoken from his feverish sleep to find his tattered clothes covered in dew and had sucked the moisture from them, at times chewing the fabric to extract every precious iota of fluid. It had tasted salty, grainy and caked in dried sweat but it would help him live even if it was for a few more hours. He was glad he got to it before the sun did.

He squinted his eyes to look at “The Mountain That Did This To Me.” It was the name he had given it and had begun to make a habit of idly giving the said mountain a glance every now and then. He even spoke to it, muttering now, swearing loudly later. Well, there was nobody else for him to talk to while he waited for death. After all, the damned mountain was responsible for his condition. He had to blame someone. Or something. He was going mad, he thought. Perhaps it was just delirium. He shut his eyes briefly, flicked them open once more and looked intently at his nemesis, the mountain. It shimmered for a second as a heat wave passed over it and it looked distorted. But only for a moment. Ahhh. Delirium then, he concluded, relaxing his eyes once more.

He should give it a name. At least, he would feel that he had a sort of “friend” around him when the end came. Besides, he needed to get his friend’s consent to chuck a boulder on him to end it quickly and therefore needed a name. He wanted no mistake when the time came. It had to be that very mountain. It had to finish for itself what it had already started. He swore at it for the umpteenth time in a tired voice without bothering to open his eyes. Too much effort.

He shivered from the heat and flicked open his eyes. Had he been asleep? A name had come to him as he rested:

Doom Rock.

He would christen his lifeless friend Doom Rock. How appropriate. He chuckled softly and coughed again, though not as terribly as before. Weak fingers slithered around to find a cool spot on the rocks. They found none. He gave up and pushed his palms down anyway so that he could sit up a little, facing his companion.

“Hear that? I’ll call you Doom Rock!” he addressed the mountain. “Now all that’s left is for me to draw enough karmatic* energy to get you to rain your children down on me and end this.”

He slumped back, his rasping breath sounding piteously. Three sentences and he felt he had done fifty miles of running. And he wanted to perform a karmatic spell. Very great ambitions indeed. The same way he had great ambitions of coming to Immanion. He snorted softly and felt a sharp pain in his lungs. Nothing mattered anymore. Nothing. His mind was too filled with morbid thoughts of dying to bother much with what his body now did.

Was he bitter at the fate that had befallen him almost two days hence? Oh yes. Dreadfully bitter. Only at first. Now, he could see that it was meant to be this way. What a glorious end to so much suffering! He had always wanted to go out with a bang. Well, not this time, maybe next life. He found it fascinating how slow death brought out the dark humour in him and fuelled an impatient urge to embrace the beyond… wherever that was. He chuckled hoarsely at his latest witty remark. Yesterday had been for hope, for life; but now he had resigned himself to his fate and he just wanted it done with. He wanted to die now, no more postponements.

Finding Immanion should have been his one salvation. He had hated his life and wanted it ended but thought he would give it one more try and find healing with the Gelaming. He had survived the robbery and travelled on foot this far. They said the Great City of the Tigron was near here. He had met only a huge range of mountains, stolidly glaring back at him. No matter, he had proclaimed, I will climb over them. No mountain in the universe would prevent him from reaching his goal. He had been wrong.

The climbing had been smooth but tiring. It chewed at his finger tips, bruising them raw, but he had kept on. I am almost there, he kept muttering to himself, exulting in the way the adrenalin kept his tired body going. He should have stopped but he was too excited to give in to that luxury. Dusk was swiftly approaching. Once more, an inner voice chided him to stop and rest on a nearby ledge. He refused to heed that call. Immanion was so tantalizingly close! He had dreamed of this for years and now that he was almost there, he dared not stop.

One false step in the encroaching darkness was all that was needed. He fell, battering his body as he plummeted. He heard his right leg snap. Once. Twice. He lost count. By the time he slammed at the base of the mountain, he was unconscious.

The first day had passed, with the heat, the pain and the troubles that befell him keeping him in constant mood swings. He had raged, wept, screamed, whispered, laughed, cried and reminisced about his whole life; the tragedies, the too brief periods of joy, the grief, the meager triumphs, the sufferings. All of it.

Somewhere in between, he had started talking to the mountains, singling out his nemesis. By high afternoon, he could smell his skin burning and at least had the energy to shift positions and hide in the shelter of the shadows about him. Hope had kept his energy up. Hope that somebody would come rescue him. That hope had quickly slunk to become despair and the two emotions kept swinging before him like the two-sided head of the god Janus. The Gelaming were supposed to be all-seeing, were they not? Why weren’t they here? He didn’t want to die. Someone had to come, he was sure of it. But nobody came.

The second day was here. He was beginning to regret not using his karmatic energy to kill himself earlier when he still had the strength. Too scared to die at my own hands or being too stupid to think that some Good Samaritan would come passing by and save me. Too late now. He hadn’t enough strength to even crawl behind the shade of one of the nearby rocks as he had done the day before. He must have an amazing, gorgeous tan by now, he thought wryly. How he wished it was only that. His pale skin had always been sensitive to too much sun. He could feel the sunburn everywhere on him, regardless of exposed skin or not.

His breathing was becoming irregular. He felt very tired. Yeah, okay what else is new?

He involuntarily shivered again from the heat. His head swam and he could no longer feel his ruined leg. Just as well. He coughed disastrously once more, his lungs felt as if stabbed with hot knives. His noises echoed around him. He spat more mucus, now it was mostly blood. The broken ribs had gored his lungs, going much deeper than he thought. The rasping was now more pronounced and he could feel himself getting weaker. Hooray, he thought listlessly. It comes at last. He struggled to open his blood-encrusted eyes to look at Doom Rock.

“Looks like I won’t be needing your help after all, old friend,” he croaked.

His eye caught something white and shimmering in the distance. It looked like horses. White horses. Must be a mirage… No. Gelaming on white horses. His mind was playing games. He closed his eyes and fell into that sweet void that had been eluding him for so long. He had found his peace. His last thought was… “Finally”

* Footnote:

Karmatic energy is one of the new skills that the Wraeththu have managed to discover shortly after the ascension of Thiede and Calanthe’s coronation. It involves being able to tap into the life-force energies of nature or supposedly inanimate, non-living objects and mould it to work for the har wielding it. Only hara of Algoma (the highest caste of the second level Ulani) and above possess the talent to use this power. It is called karmatic because it is not the har that is creating the energy but rather him tapping into it, for instance, a rock’s energy and using it briefly, before returning the energy back to the object. As such, no new energy is created, neither is any destroyed. Both the living hara and the inert object get the psychic energies back once the spell is completed.

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