Imagers intrigue, p.1

Imager’s Intrigue, page 1

 

Imager’s Intrigue
 



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Imager’s Intrigue


  Imager’s Intrigue

  Tor Books by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

  The Imager Portfolio

  Imager

  Imager’s Challenge

  Imager’s Intrigue

  The Corean Chronicles

  Legacies

  Darknesses

  Scepters

  Alector’s Choice

  Cadmian’s Choice

  Soarer’s Choice

  The Lord-Protector’s Daughter

  Lady-Protector (forthcoming)

  The Saga of Recluce

  The Magic of Recluce

  The Towers of the Sunset

  The Magic Engineer

  The Order War

  The Death of Chaos

  Fall of Angels

  The Chaos Balance

  The White Order

  Colors of Chaos

  Magi’i of Cyador

  Scion of Cyador

  Wellspring of Chaos

  Ordermaster

  Natural Ordermage

  Mage-Guard of Hamor

  Arms-Commander

  The Spellsong Cycle

  The Soprano Sorceress

  The Spellsong War

  Darksong Rising

  The Shadow Sorceress

  Shadowsinger

  The Ecolitan Matter

  Empire & Ecolitan

  (comprising The Ecolitan Operation and The Ecologic Secession)

  Ecolitan Prime

  (comprising The Ecologic Envoy and The Ecolitan Enigma)

  The Forever Hero

  (comprising Dawn for a Distant Earth, The Silent Warrior, and In Endless Twilight)

  Timegod’s World

  (comprising Timediver’s Dawn and The Timegod)

  The Ghost Books

  Of Tangible Ghosts

  The Ghost of the Revelator

  Ghost of the White Nights

  Ghost of Columbia

  (comprising Of Tangible Ghosts and The Ghost of the Revelator)

  The Hammer of Darkness

  The Green Progression

  The Parafaith War

  Adiamante

  Gravity Dreams

  Octagonal Raven

  Archform: Beauty

  The Ethos Effect

  Flash

  The Eternity Artifact

  The Elysium Commission

  Viewpoints Critical

  Haze

  Empress of Eternity (forthcoming)

  Imager’s Intrigue

  The Third Book of the Imager Portfolio

  L. E. MODESITT, JR.

  A TOM DOHERTY ASSOCIATES BOOK

  NEW YORK

  IN MEMORIAM

  To Clay Hunt, for taking on a half-trained poet,

  yet who never lived to see my work published

  or to understand my gratitude and appreciation

  CHARACTERS

  CIVIC PATROL

  Artois

  Commander of Patrollers

  Cydarth

  Subcommander of Patrollers

  Sarthyn

  Lieutenant, Patrol Judicial Administration

  Subunet

  Captain, First District

  Jacquet

  Captain, Second District

  Kethbryd, Lieutenant

  Rhennthyl

  Captain, Third District

  Alsoran, Lieutenant

  Hostyn

  Captain, Fourth District

  Barcuyt, Lieutenant

  Bolyet

  Captain, Fifth District

  Yerkes, Lieutenant

  Kharles

  Captain, Sixth District

  Walthyr, Lieutenant

  HIGH HOLDERS

  Almeida D’Alte

  Ruisa D’Almeida [wife]

  Apolyan D’Alte [Councilor from Kherseilles]

  Ealthyn D’Alte

  Fhernon D’Alte

  Gheranya D’Fhernon [wife]

  Guerdyn D’Alte

  Cyana D’Guerdyn [daughter]

  Haebyn D’Alte

  Haestyr D’Alte [Councilor from Asseroiles]

  Alhyral D’Haestyr [son and heir, fiancee is Dhelora D’Zaerlyn-Alte]

  Lhoryn D’Alte

  Petryn D’Lhoryn [son and heir]

  Nacryon D’Alte

  Ramsael D’Alte [Councilor from Kephria]

  Alynkya D’Ramsael [daughter, also fiancee of Frydryk D’Suyrien]

  Regial D’Alte [Councilor from Montagne]

  Ryel D’Alte [formerly Kandryl D’Suyrien, younger son of Suyrien D’Alte]

  Iryela D’Ryel [wife]

  Ruelyr D’Alte

  Shaercyt D’Alte

  Shendael D’Alte

  Juniae D’Shendael [wife, political activist, and author]

  Suyrien D’Alte [Chief Councilor]

  Frydryk D’Suyrien [son and heir]

  Taelmyn D’Alte [deceased]

  Zaerlyn D’Alte

  Dhelora D’Zaerlyn-Alte [daughter]

  IMAGERS

  Poincaryt

  Maitre D’Espirt [Head of Collegium]

  Dichartyn

  Maitre D’Esprit [Head of Collegium Security]

  Dyana

  Maitre D’Esprit

  Dhelyn

  Maitre D’Structure [Head of Westisle Collegium]

  Jhulian

  Maitre D’Structure [Justice]

  Rholyn

  Maitre D’Structure[Advocate/Councilor from the Collegium]

  Schorzat

  Maitre D’Structure [Director of Field Operations]

  Draffyd

  Maitre D’Structure [Medical Imager]

  Rhennthyl

  Maitre D’Structure [Collegium Imago of Solidar]

  Ferlyn

  Maitre D’Aspect

  Chassendri

  Maitre D’Aspect

  Ghaend

  Maitre D’Aspect

  Heisbyl

  Maitre D’Aspect

  Quaelyn

  Maitre D’Aspect [Master of Patterns]

  Kahlasa

  Maitre D’Aspect [Assistant Director, Field Operations]

  Baratyn

  Maitre D’Aspect [Council Security]

  Dartazn

  Maitre D’Aspect

  Isola

  Chorister of the Nameless

  EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF SOLIDAR

  Suyrien D’Alte [Chief Councilor, from L’Excelsis]

  Caartyl D’Artisan [Councilor from Masonry Guild, from Eshtora]

  Glendyl D’Factorius [Councilor and Steam/Engines Factor, from L’Excelsis]

  NAVAL COMMAND

  Valeun

  Sea-Marshal, Chief, Naval Command

  Caellynd

  Deputy Sea-Marshal, Naval Command

  Geuffryt

  Assistant Sea-Marshal, Naval Bureau, Chief of Intelligence

  FACTORS

  Broussard D’Factorius [Agricultural/Produce Factor]

  Chenkyr D’Factorius [Rhennthyl’s father, Wool Factor]

  Maelyna D’Chenkyr [Rhennthyl’s mother]

  Rousel D’Factorius [Rhennthyl’s brother] [deceased]

  Remaya D’Rousel [Rousel’s wife]

  Reityr [Rousel and Remaya’s son]

  Khethila D’Chenkyr [Rhennthyl’s sister]

  Culthyn D’Chenkyr [Rhennthyl’s youngest brother]

  Diogayn D’Factorius [Councilor and Ironworks Factor, from Extela]

  Etyenn D’Factorius [Councilor and Cloth Factor, from Westisle]

  Ferdinand D’Factorius [Stone/Brick Factor, from L’Excelsis]

  Glendyl D’Factorius [Councilor and Steam/Engines Factor, from L’Excelsis]

  Reyner D’Factorius [Councilor and Spice/Essences Factor, from Estisle]

  Sebatyon D’Factorius [Councilor and Timber/Lumber Factor,
from Mantes]

  Veblynt D’Factorius [Paper Factor, from L’Excelsis]

  Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48

  Chapter 49

  Chapter 50

  Chapter 51

  Chapter 52

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54

  Chapter 55

  Chapter 56

  Chapter 57

  Chapter 58

  Chapter 59

  Chapter 60

  Chapter 61

  Chapter 62

  Chapter 63

  Chapter 64

  Chapter 65

  Chapter 66

  Chapter 67

  Chapter 68

  Chapter 69

  Chapter 70

  Chapter 71

  Chapter 72

  Chapter 73

  1

  Unlike most people, I hated actually going to sleep and looked forward to waking up…in a way. When I’d been a struggling apprentice portraiturist years before, I never would have believed I could have felt that way, but life has a way of changing preconceptions. In my case, it had to do with the sleeping arrangements required of imagers. Although we’d been married for nearly five years—it would be five years on the twenty-first of the coming Fevier—Seliora and I had never slept the entire night together; not that we both wouldn’t have wanted to, but the dangers of that were far too high. Even before I’d known I was an imager, I’d lit lamps and imaged things in my sleep, and once I’d even set a chest on fire. Imaging in a nightmare could easily have hurt Seliora…if not worse.

  So I was pleased to wake, dress in exercise clothes and boots, and leave my discreetly lead-lined bedchamber with its lead glass windows and pad barefoot into the main bedchamber and look at her sleeping there. Then I slipped from the house and ran down the walkways to the exercise area where Clovyl put all those of us assigned to various security-related duties through exercises that ended in a four mille run. After that, I trotted back to the house and showered and shaved, in always cool if not cold water, so that I was clean enough to slip into Seliora’s large bed before she actually rose and we got ready for the day.

  On this Lundi morning, she was awake, waiting for me, and her arms felt wonderful around me. We didn’t get to enjoy that moment for long because a small figure ran in from the adjoining room—meant to be a half-study, but serving as a nursery—and climbed up under the covers to join us.

  “Mama, Dada…”

  Before all that long, the three of us rose, and I washed and changed Diestrya while Seliora showered and dressed. Then Seliora and Diestrya headed downstairs while I dressed in my imager grays. As soon as I sat down in the breakfast room off the adequate but not excessively large kitchen, Klysia filled my large crockery mug with tea, strong tea that I’d likely need for the day ahead.

  “More tea, too…please?” begged Diestrya from her highchair beside Seliora and across the table, offering me a winning smile, not that all her smiles weren’t dazzling when she wanted something.

  Klysia looked to me, then to Seliora. After catching the barest hint of a nod from my black-haired, black-eyed beautiful wife, I nodded. “Just a little, with cream.”

  Because I was the most junior Maitre D’Structure, a step above the lowest imager master level, Maitre D’Aspect, but below the two senior masters at the Collegium, both of whom were Maitres D’Esprit, our house was a modestly spacious dwelling with an upper level holding three bedrooms, two bathing rooms, the master sleeping chambers, which included my stark sleeping cell and the half-study serving as a nursery, and a main level containing the family and formal parlors, the dining room, the kitchen, the pantry, and a larger study and library, plus, of course, the front entry foyer and Klysia’s quarters at the back. I had converted the northern upstairs bedroom into a studio, where I’d done portraits of Maitre Dyana and Master Dichartyn, and where I’d begun the preliminary work on one of Diestrya. That way I didn’t have to use the drafty space I’d once been assigned in the Collegium workroom. Fortunately, because my days were rather occupied, no one had changed positions in the Collegium recently, so I wasn’t required to paint another Collegium portrait any time soon.

  Like all dwellings provided to married imagers by the Collegium, the outside of ours was of gray stone, with a gray slate roof. Inside, the walls were of off-white plaster, except for the main library, which was paneled with cherry and had built-in bookshelves that we had not come close to filling.

  With the exception of the formal parlor and the dining room, the furniture in the house was a motley collection of leftovers from the previous maitre and pieces gleaned from sample works from NordEste Design, the business of Seliora’s family. “Eclectic” was what Seliora called it, but it was still motley. The formal parlor furnishings, Seliora’s bed and dressing table, and the dining room set, with its twin buffets and china cabinets, had all been gifts from her family, as all the linens and woolens had come from mine.

  Breakfast was egg toast with berry syrup, sausages, and an oat porridge that Seliora had decided we all needed, particularly Diestrya. I had trouble not making faces in eating the porridge without a surreptitious dollop of the syrup.

  “You don’t look all that happy, dearest,” offered Seliora.

  “I’m not.” And I wasn’t, not when I’d have to spend the morning in one of Commander Artois’s monthly meetings of all the District Captains of the Civic Patrol of L’Excelsis. “It’s time for Artois’s monthly lecture.”

  “It is the first Lundi in Feuillyt,” Seliora said with a smile.

  I still found it hard to believe that I’d been married to her nearly five years. At times that seemed more improbable than the fact that I was a master imager—Maitre D’Structure of the Collegium Imago of Solidar—as well as the only imager ever serving as an actual officer in the Civic Patrol, but how all that happened was another story for another time.

  We were out of the house two quints before seventh glass. The morning was cool, even cooler than usual for the first Lundi of fall, and Seliora shivered in her cloak.

  “Cold?” I asked.

  “I should have worn a winter cloak.” She smiled at me. “You were out earlier. You could have warned me, except you don’t even notice the cold.”

  “I’ll try to be better now that the weather’s colder.” I grinned at her.

  She shook her head, knowing that I’d probably forget.

  I carried Diestrya, as we walked southward toward the duty coach area closest to the Bridge of Desires, the stone span that crossed the River Aluse. After Maitre Poincaryt—the head of the Collegium—had worked out the arrangement between the Civic Patrol, the Council of Solidar, and the Collegium that had resulted in my being assigned as Third District Captain, I’d managed to get him
to agree to have the duty carriage that took me to the Third District Station every working day make a stop at NordEste Design to drop Seliora off there. After all, it was her family’s home and business, and, without her and her family, I’d have died years earlier.

 
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