Imagers intrigue, p.1
Imager’s Intrigue, page 1
Tor Books by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Imager Portfolio
The Corean Chronicles
The Lord-Protector’s Daughter
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
Mage-Guard of Hamor
The Spellsong Cycle
The Soprano Sorceress
The Spellsong War
The Shadow Sorceress
The Ecolitan Matter
Empire & Ecolitan
(comprising The Ecolitan Operation and The Ecologic Secession)
(comprising The Ecologic Envoy and The Ecolitan Enigma)
The Forever Hero
(comprising Dawn for a Distant Earth, The Silent Warrior, and In Endless Twilight)
(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
The Ethos Effect
The Eternity Artifact
The Elysium Commission
Empress of Eternity (forthcoming)
The Third Book of the Imager Portfolio
L. E. MODESITT, JR.
A TOM DOHERTY ASSOCIATES BOOK
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
Commander of Patrollers
Subcommander of Patrollers
Lieutenant, Patrol Judicial Administration
Captain, First District
Captain, Second District
Captain, Third District
Captain, Fourth District
Captain, Fifth District
Captain, Sixth District
Ruisa D’Almeida [wife]
Apolyan D’Alte [Councilor from Kherseilles]
Gheranya D’Fhernon [wife]
Cyana D’Guerdyn [daughter]
Haestyr D’Alte [Councilor from Asseroiles]
Alhyral D’Haestyr [son and heir, fiancee is Dhelora D’Zaerlyn-Alte]
Petryn D’Lhoryn [son and heir]
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]
Juniae D’Shendael [wife, political activist, and author]
Suyrien D’Alte [Chief Councilor]
Frydryk D’Suyrien [son and heir]
Taelmyn D’Alte [deceased]
Dhelora D’Zaerlyn-Alte [daughter]
Maitre D’Espirt [Head of Collegium]
Maitre D’Esprit [Head of Collegium Security]
Maitre D’Structure [Head of Westisle Collegium]
Maitre D’Structure [Justice]
Maitre D’Structure[Advocate/Councilor from the Collegium]
Maitre D’Structure [Director of Field Operations]
Maitre D’Structure [Medical Imager]
Maitre D’Structure [Collegium Imago of Solidar]
Maitre D’Aspect [Master of Patterns]
Maitre D’Aspect [Assistant Director, Field Operations]
Maitre D’Aspect [Council Security]
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]
Sea-Marshal, Chief, Naval Command
Deputy Sea-Marshal, Naval Command
Assistant Sea-Marshal, Naval Bureau, Chief of Intelligence
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,
Veblynt D’Factorius [Paper Factor, from L’Excelsis]
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.
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
by L. E. Modesitt have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes