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Valour and Victory
 



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Valour and Victory


  VALOUR AND VICTORY

  Candy Rae

  * * * * *

  SMASHWORDS EDITION

  * * * * *

  Valour and Victory

  (2nd Edition)

  Copyright © 2013 Candy Rae

  Cover Artwork Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Johnson

  * * * * *

  All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead; is purely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the author.

  Smashwords Edition, License Notes

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  * * * * *

  Valour and Victory is dedicated to everyone who volunteered to read the draft copies of the series and who provided me with valued feedback, with special thanks to Fiona.

  * * * * *

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Prologue

  Chapter 1 - First Month of Summer AL 608 - Dunrhed

  Chapter 2 - Second Month of Summer AL 608 - Vadrhed

  Chapter 3 - Third Month of Summer AL 608 - Lokrhed

  Chapter 4 - Fourth Month of Summer AL 608 - Sanrhed

  Chapter 5 - Fifth Month of Summer AL 608 - Rakrhed

  Chapter 6 - First Month of Winter AL 608 - Dunthed

  Chapter 7 - Second Month of Winter AL 608 - Vadthed

  Chapter 8 - Third Month of Winter AL 608 - Lokthed

  Chapter 9 - Fourth Month of Winter AL 608 - Santhed

  Chapter 10 - Fifth Month of Winter AL 608 - Rakthed

  Chapter 11 - Second Month of Summer AL 609 - Vadrhed

  Chapter 12 - Postludes

  REUNION - A Short Story

  Characters

  Glossary

  Appendices

  * * * * *

  AUTHOR’S NOTE

  Dragons and Destiny and Valour and Victory are books written ‘around’ ten main characters, most of who meet each other as the story progresses or are related by blood.

  Other characters have roles to play, some important, some incidental. Most of them know one, if not more of the ten main characters. It is their destiny, their lachesis, to meet and to play their parts in the story. Their individual clothos spin within the events that lead to the new age on Planet Wolf and atropos swings its axe down on the lives of not a few. Planet Wolf’s destiny is their destiny. Planet Wolf’s lachesis is their lachesis.

  * * * * *

  PROLOGUE

  The Ancient Greeks of Planet Earth believed that there were three types of fate that governed the world. The first, Clotho, spanned the thread of life. The second, Atropos, cut the thread of life. The third, Lachesis, assigned a person’s destiny.

  * * * * *

  What happened in Dragons and Destiny (Book 4 of Planet Wolf)

  Niaill and his Lind Taraya - (Ryzcka(s) of the First Ryzck of the Vada). In AL 607, Niaill and Taraya, on leave, came across a strange object in the rtathlians of the Lind. They had found the Boton, the name for the fact-finding probe sent out through space to find a suitable planet for its makers, the space-roving predatory Dglai.

  The Dglai have been travelling through the galaxy in their gigantic spaceship for eons, landing on planets rich in water, minerals and edibles, eradicating any resistance and stripping the planets of everything they can eat and use. Spaceship replenished, they move on to their next target world.

  Niaill and Taraya reported their find to the Gtrathlin, Vanlya, the pre-eminent Lind who, realising the seriousness of the situation took steps to report the existence of the Boton to the Avuzdel, the keepers of the deepest secrets of the Lind.

  Niaill was directed to read the volumes that had been entrusted to the care of Gtrathlin Afanasei, Gtrathlin of Lind by Tara Sullivan and her Lind Kolyei during the first century AL.

  Niaill learned that the Avuzdel had been searching for the Boton for generations under the direction of a Lind with the title Susalai, overall commander of the Avuzdel of the three continents. To his surprise he found out there was a branch of the Avuzdel amongst the Larg. This pack trod a dangerous paw between their loyalty to the Largan, the ruler of the Larg and the Susalai.

  It was realised that Planet Wolf was to be the Dglai’s next target and a way must be found to stop them before they stripped the planet.

  Niaill was well versed in the traditions of the Lind. He knew of their belief that long ago huge fire-eating flying creatures called the Lai had arrived, had taught the Lind how to talk and guided their first steps. Reading Tara’s writings he found out that the tradition was not a fable but truth. The Lai still lived on the planet, hidden on the smaller of the two northern continents. They were guarded by the Avuzdel and a pack (rtath) of Lind known as the Sinetad Rtath (Secret Pack).

  The Lai were related to the Dglai and they came out of hiding to help humans, Lind and Larg discover how to stop the Dglai.

  Tara’s writings told of technical computer print-outs hidden in one of the Guildhouses at Stewarton, the city of Argyll and of an object called a power-core that had powered the Electra, one of the spaceships that had brought humankind to Rybak. The Electra’s Captain had buried it in the desert of the southern continent. In the wrong hands it could become a weapon of immense destructive force.

  The fact that the majority of those travelling on the Electra were murderers and hardened criminals had everything to do with this decision to hide the power-core and later, the print-outs. The print-outs contained the knowledge of how to turn the power-core into a weapon that might be able to destroy the mother ship of the Dglai, the Ammokko.

  The print-outs were found and a team was set up to decipher them and to work out how to manipulate the power-core’s mechanisms. The man appointed to lead this team was the elderly Guildmaster Annert of the Technicians Guild.

  After helping to find the print-outs Niaill and Taraya decided to return the vadeln of the First Ryzck. It was their honour and duty to lead their men, women and Lind into battle.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory Niaill and Taraya are leading the thirty-two vadeln-pairs of the First Ryzck. They are running east towards Settlement, to the war.

  Danal and his Lind Asya - (Niaill’s elder brother) (Member(s) of the Avuzdel) were sent after Prince-Heir Elliot, Robain Hallam, Philip Ross and James Cocteau as an extra bodyguard when they left Settlement after a failed assassination attempt.

  He shadowed and protected the four of them until they reached Stewarton when he was contacted by the Gtrathlin about the print-outs, the power-core and the emergence of the Lai. He led the search for the print-outs.

  He and his Lind Asya are the leaders of the team who are to find the power-core in the desert east of the Kingdom of Murdoch. He is falling in love with Tala Talansdochter.

  The members of the team are Baron Philip Ross, Kellen Derek Merriman, Tala Talansdochter and three Lind of the Avuzdel, Inalei, Jilsei and Denei.

  As Valour and Victory begins he and Asya are about to land in a secluded inlet on the coast of the Duchy of Graham.

  Julia and her Lind Alyei - (Susa(s) of the Vada). It is Julia’s destiny to lead the combined armies of the north into battle against the Larg and the Dglai. She plans to meet them in battle south of the Island Chain at the eastern-most tip of the Duchy of Duchesne.
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br />   The Avuzdel have found out that a scout ship, known as a Quorko has landed amongst the Larg and its occupant has persuaded the Largan to ally with them against humans and Lind. The Dglai have promised to help the Larg become rulers over the entire planet. Fired with enthusiasm all but one of the Larg packs have begun to gather forming the biggest army the planet has ever seen. The pack that has not responded is the one that is the southern continent’s Avuzdel.

  Warning was sent to the Lord Marshall of Murdoch who realised the Larg were going to attack although he was sceptical about the existence of the Lai and the Dglai. In the divided Kingdom of Murdoch only a very few of those in charge believe their planet is about to be invaded by visitors from outer space. The dukes of the northerly duchies of Gardiner, Brentwood, Duchesne and Graham and to a lesser degree North Baker understood that the Larg are planning a major attack. The dukes of the southernmost duchies, Cocteau, South Baker, Smith and van Buren believe the Lord Marshall’s warning is a northern plot designed to weaken the Kingdom.

  The countries on the planet have been warned about the imminent arrival of the Dglai. The Lindars of Lind, the Militia and Vada of Vadath and the Militia and Garda of Argyll are converging at the eastern and southern coastlines of Argyll.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory Julia has assumed the title Susyc and has called for the muster of her army. She and Alyei are leading the vadeln-pairs of the Vada as they run east towards Settlement.

  Elliot - (Prince-Heir of the Kingdom of Murdoch). Elliot is the eighteen year old son of Crown-Prince Paul. He was brought up at the royal palace at Fort, pampered, guarded and with servants to cater for his every whim. After the tragic death of his bride in a carriage accident in the summer of AL 607 his father decided to send him on a ‘Grand Tour’ of the southern islands and of the northern continent as his replacement bride, Margravessa Isobel Cocteau was too young for marriage until the following year.

  With three companions, his boyhood friend, Count James Cocteau, Kellen Derek Merriman and in the charge of Baron Philip Ross, a trusted retainer of Crown-Prince Paul, the four set out, arriving in Argyll during the first months of AL 607. At Settlement, assassins sent by Prince-Duke Xavier, the jealous younger brother of Crown-Prince Paul tried to kill Elliot. They failed but in the melee Derek Merriman was hurt. Captain Robain Hallam of the Argyll Garda took his place.

  During their travels Elliot met all of the children of Talan, Innkeeper of the Little Rover Inn at Dunetown. Hilla Talansdochter he met at Settlement where she was in her first year of training to become a Garda officer. She suggested he visit the family inn and give her regards to her brother Zak and her triplet sister Zilla. He met and fell in love with the youngest triplet when the party stayed at the inn. Although Elliot loves Zilla, he knows he cannot marry her because to break off the engagement to Isobel Cocteau will split the Kingdom and start a civil war between the old-fashioned, traditional, southerly duchies and the more forward-looking northerly ones.

  At Vada, where the four journeyers also visited he met the middle triplet, Rilla who with her Lind Zawlei was in training with the Vada. He also met Julia, Susa of the Vada and Ryzcka Niaill and his Lind Taraya. Later the four travellers stayed with Zala, twin sister of Zak and her family and met the middle sister Tala.

  By the time they reached Stewarton Elliot was no longer a pampered royal brat. He was growing up and was lean and fit. He was also beginning to question how the Kingdom of Murdoch was organised, especially the institution of slavery, endemic in the more southerly duchies.

  He also learned to respect and trust Captain Robain Hallam and Baron Philip Ross, a new experience for a young prince brought up in the intrigue-filled circles at the Murdoch Court.

  Elliot, James Cocteau, Robain Hallam, a recovered Derek Merriman and Philip Ross left Stewarton to return south to the Kingdom of Murdoch when it was realised that war was imminent.

  Elliot has been entrusted with the job of persuading the Dukes of Murdoch, especially Duke William Duchesne, whose lands are likely be the first to be attacked, that the threat of the Dglai is real. He brings with him an offer of help from Susyc Julia.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory, Elliot has arrived in the Kingdom of Murdoch with Robain and James.

  Isobel Cocteau - (Margravessa of the Ducal House of Cocteau and the betrothed of Prince Elliot). Isobel is the niece of Duke Pierre Cocteau.

  On the death of Elliot’s intended, Margravessa Beth Baker in a carriage accident she was chosen by the Conclave of Murdoch to be Prince-Heir Elliot’s replacement bride. She was formally betrothed to him in the Chapel Royal the day before Elliot left for his Grand Tour. Her elder brother James is Elliot’s boyhood friend and accompanied Elliot to the north.

  She was educated at the Mother House of the Order of Grey Nuns. Though quiet and unassuming she is therefore well-educated and is well aware of what is expected of her as future consort. The marriage is scheduled for the summer of AL 608.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory, Isobel is waiting for Elliot’s return at the Duke of Cocteau’s favourite manor house to the south of the Kingdom of Murdoch.

  Robain Hallam - (Captain of the Garda). In AL 607 he was a member of the permanent training staff at the Garda Academie.

  He originated from the Island of Hallam in the Great Eastern Sea. In AL 595, slavers attacked the island. His father and elder siblings were killed leaving him to bring up younger brothers Liam and Ansell. His mother and young sister were taken by the slavers for sale in the southern continent.

  Robain joined the Garda and seemed set on a long and distinguished career. While training the officer trainees he met and fell in love with Hilla Talansdochter.

  When Kellen Derek Merriman was injured protecting Elliot from the assassins sent by his uncle, Robain was ordered to take his place as bodyguard and found that instead of hating Elliot and all he stood for, he was beginning to like the young man.

  Robain played a major part in the finding of the computer print-outs at Stewarton. After the decision that Elliot should return home and because Baron Philip Ross and a recovered Kellen Derek Merriman were going with the team to hunt for the power-core, Robain volunteered to go with Elliot and James to Murdoch and promised Baron Philip Ross that he would protect the young prince.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory, Robain has arrived in the Kingdom of Murdoch with Elliot and his friend James.

  Hilla Talansdochter - (eldest triplet, the youngest children of Talan, the Innkeeper of the Little Rover Inn at Dunetown in Argyll and his wife Zanda). By the beginning of AL 607 Hilla had been accepted by the Garda and had begun her officer training at Settlement. Towards the middle of the year she fell in love with Robain Hallam and was upset when he left on special assignment.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory she and her friends, Shona, Dolvin and the rest of the Officer Trainees are at Settlement waiting for the orders that will send them south to the war. She is wondering what has happened to Robain because she hasn’t heard from him for months.

  Rilla Talansdochter - (middle triplet, the youngest children of Talan, the Innkeeper of the Little Rover Inn at Dunetown in Argyll and his wife Zanda). In AL 607, a Lind, Zawlei, came to her at her parent’s inn; the two of them life-bonded and Zawlei took the seventeen year old Rilla away to begin their training as a Vada Cadet. At Vada she met and became friends with Shona and her Lind Danei.

  Although she began her training at an older age than usual, she, with Zawlei’s help, persevered and after some months became what was known as a ‘Third Stripe’ Cadet with the rest of the seventeen year olds in their penultimate year of training. When the muster was called, she and Zawlei, with the rest of the Cadets travelled east towards Settlement where the Vada Ryzcks were mustering.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory she and Zawlei are camped with the rest of the Vada in the forest above the Battle Plains at Settlement waiting for the orders that will send them south to the war.

  Zilla T
alansdochter - (youngest triplet, the youngest children of Talan, the Innkeeper of the Little Rover Inn at Dunetown in Argyll and his wife Zanda). During AL 607, Zilla was helping her parents run the inn. Always the quietest of the triplets, she is beginning to assert herself.

  She fell in love with Elliot when the party stayed at the inn and like Elliot, is unable to put her feelings behind her. She has no idea who Elliot really is and knows him as Walter, a younger son of a minor noble house.

  Her brother Zak, a member of the Militia went to the war with the Dunetown battalion when the muster was called.

  At the beginning of Valour and Victory Zilla is making plans to follow Zak east to see what she can do to help in the war all but the most ignorant know is coming.

  Tala Talansdochter - (middle child of Talan, the Innkeeper of the Little Rover Inn at Dunetown in Argyll and his wife Zanda). By AL 607 she was a Journeywoman in the Technicians Guild and lived in Stewarton with elder sister Zala, married to Merchant Matt Urquhart.

  She was a part of the group that found the print-outs and volunteered to go south with Danal and the rest of the team to find the power-core. Danal was not keen to include her, believing she would be of more use helping the Guildmaster decipher the print-outs but Tala successfully argued her case.

  ‘And do you think you will understand these instructions when you get them?’ she demanded. ‘Do you have the technical expertise and know how? Will you be able to use the tools? Can you tell the difference between a magnetic screwdriver and another? I can. You need someone with the skills to understand the instructions and to implement them, to adapt them to changing circumstances if need be.’

 
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