The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
The most powerful magic users on Hreme of the Nine Worlds are the Rainbow
Archmages. With the assistance of a certain group of peripatetic time
travelers, one such powerful mage promoted himself from Black Mage to Lexan
Mage. His apprentice, one Dinlai Finlei Alatar became the new Black Mage.
She is the youngest such mage, and is grudgingly admitted by the other mages
to be the most innovative of them all. Most inexplicable to them is her
ability to travel anywhere very, very fast.
The Hremish dwarf, Mandorak, encountered Dinlai, and she offered him a chance to learn more about his chosen skills by meeting the people who had inspired her to her creative heights. She warned him that he would face many adventures as well, but he still accepted. She then brought him to the Keep of the Black Mage, an imposing and seemingly impregnable fortress. Within it, she led him to a small, charming drawing room, adorned with multiple mirrors among other amenities. She closed the door to the room, and did some magic-seeming things using her staff and the mirrors. She opened the door again.
It now opened into a quaint little cottage. Dinlai urged Mandorak out, explaining that the Keep had been left far behind. "It is now at least a world away." She closed the door behind them.
A tall, very tall, elegant woman entered the room and greeted them warmly. Mandorak realized that she was an elf, but not like any elf he'd ever heard of. He decided that it was really possible that he was no longer in Hreme. She introduced herself as Daewen. "Some of the others have already arrived," she explained as she ushered them into her drawing room, which seemed to have been primarily decorated with food.
The dwarf sat down, and helped himself to a little cake with a red squiggle on the top. Outside, he could see that it was either dusk or dawn. Inside, there were many people, but no dwarves like himself. There was one large, burly fellow who did seem a bit dwarvish, who was accompanied by two small but equally burly types, who were referred to as "the lads" although they looked like mature adults. There were several of the tall, elegant elvish sort, and many had a family resemblance to Daewen. Others bore only a racial affinity. Their coloring came in two types: black hair and silver eyes, or golden hair and blue eyes. There was one who looked like a Hremeish Hero, but very old. He was introduced as Tethycles, a boatwright. There were several others, even harder to categorize.
Daewen, who was clearly the hostess as well as the owner of the cottage, checked that everyone was comfortable, and began to explain that she wanted to offer them a mission. An owl hooted, and she interrupted herself to go off and bring in one last guest: a small, sandy-haired person holding a letter of introduction from "Eldacur Technologies." Resuming, she explained that there were many beings of ill will in the world, and that "those of us of good will" had to be prepared for them. She had foreseen such a conflict, and had long considered how to prepare for it. She was looking for people who would be, not Heroes (since they would come at need), scouts, explorers, and artisans. She wanted this realm to be well-informed and well-prepared for the upcoming conflict. She wished to build a company of people to explore places, and people to devise the conveyances needed to get to these places. She warned everyone in the room that they and others would have to exercise great discretion to keep these preparations hidden.
She described the locale where they would work: a small island off Lanthil. For those newcomers who looked blank, she explained that this realm was Lanthil, and that it was named for the fall of light at the heart of the land, their only source of light. Their island, being to the north of Lanthil proper, and therefore closer (in some sense) to the sun, was called the Isle of the New Dawn.
Everyone present seemed eager to participate in the goal of making the cleverest vehicles, which the boldest and most cunning would use to explore every corner of the realm, in preparation for the arrival of the evil-doers.
Mardorak asked, "who are these enemies?"
"I've been to Hreme," Daewen explained, "but I don't know how the enemy manifests there. The enemy can be called Mother of Monsters, or Mother of Demons, or the False Dragon. We do not speak her name. Some species of serpents or dragons are ordinary creatures, but other are her serpents."
Others asked questions about the sort of "conveyances" they were to make. She urged them to try making many vehicles, ones that would travel over land and sea, and ones that would travel through the air, empty space, and in the oceans. She said that they should not try to make witchwalking vehicles immediately, explaining that they would have to be very stable craft indeed, since they would be used to explore Chaos.
She promised them all an opportunity to explore Lanthil, or at least its peaks, before a boat took them to their island. She promised them opportunities for creativity, for adventure, and for those other things they craved, and she assured them that there was good financing behind this, so that they would be well-compensated. Eventually, their labors would uncover good trade routes, and there would be more wealth for all.
They began work at the New Dawn Workshops. In time, those became the New Dawn Shipyards. Tethycles led the ship-building contingents. Their people formed the core of the regular Lanthil Coast Guard, and the New Dawn Coast Guard, noted for its small fast ships. This latter was led by the elf, Fallatal. The younger beings were formed into the New Dawn Cadets by Timons. (Somehow, they were dubbed the Junior Woodchucks.) They had high expectations of becoming a company of Rangers in the not-too-distant future. Their numbers included the Lost Boys, the six demi-fay orphans from a distant planet called Destine, and others who appeared from time to time. Eventually, the New Dawn Marines were incorporated, for the formal defense of the island, its boffins and its various troops.
Mandorak began by working on the dwarf-conceived stone ship, while Bavor, the latecomer, worked on the control systems of several different conveyances. Eventually, the two of them became the heart of the engineering team of the finest prototype ship, the Tindome. It was dubbed the Tindome (tin-DOH-may) for that faint light which appears before the dawn. It was shaped like a football, and could travel on or under the sea, or through space, or it could be hung from a gasbag for flight. Everyone was very proud of it. Its ballast was ectoplastic air, and it used the Marlowe exchanger to return the carbon dioxide to oxygen. Bay had designed the discreet warning system that indicated when it was time to harvest its waste product, diamond panels. These were thriftily installed as screens and interior windows throughout the Tindome.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.