FROM: First Sergeant Alexander Rahl
RE: The Lady”s Hand: Part Five
The Lady’s Hand crouched in the corner of the dark storage
room with a handful of pulled-up floorboards beside him.
He reached under the floor and pulled out a small backpack
and began to sift through its contents.
First out was the cloak. It was made of the finest
leather, black on one side, and a deep violet on the other;
the colors of the House of Turon. He held it for a moment,
reminiscing before setting it carefully off to the side.
He then extracted a scabbard from the bag and drew from it
a kryss sword, still sparkling after all these years. The
workmanship was unparalleled.
“Kendal…,” he whispered to himself, smiling and running his
fingers down the blade.
Next out was a small box containing wigs, moustaches, bits
of jewelry, dyes, and rubber. Alexander couldn’t help but
smile devilishly at the sight of it. A small buckler, a
handful of reagents, a battered and little-used book of
spells, and a handful of Britannian crowns all followed.
Alexander dug into a tiny flap in the bottom of the bag and
retrieved a tiny bit of blue crystal, smoothed over so it
wouldn’t irritate the flesh of the inner ear when inserted.
He separated the crystal into two halves, and picked at the
tiny dials within with a needle. When he was satisfied
with the settings, he places the device deep in his ear.
He was immediately overwhelmed with the sound of com-
traffic. Voices he vaguely recognized from years ago and
many he didn’t chattering at each other across the
Society’s communication network, carrying about the
business of running an army. With a practiced click of his
tongue, he switched over to a second, private network.
“Jack of Diamonds to Ace of Spades, respond,” he whispered.
“Ace of Spades, verify Jack of Diamonds?”
“Jack of Diamonds, seven-indigo-tango commit.”
“Umm…verified Jack of Diamonds…. Err…Welcome back to the
“Hardly, Ace of Spades,” responded Alexander with a grim
chuckle, “I wouldn’t go that far. I’m authorizing an
immediate deployment of Project Muerdetta, I need three
men, who will receive their-“
“Come again Jack of Diamonds…Project Muerdetta?”
“I don’t have time to hold your hand, just do it. I need
three men who will receive their instructions once on the
other side. Operational window is two hours beginning
three hours from this transmission. Be prepared to extract
them in a rush, once the window’s closed, it’s closed for
“Copy that Jack of Diamonds, be advised three hours is well
below projected time to implement Project Muerdetta.”
“You have three hours to get those men across or the world
as you know it will be invaded by an army the likes of
which Aluviel has never seen and I will hold you personally
responsible. Copy that?”
“Copy that Jack of Diamonds. Three men. Three hours. You
have my word.”
He quickly replaced the bag’s contents and tucked the
package under his arm and left the storeroom.
He made his way to the Great Library and came up with an
excuse for the old Annalist there to let him into the
ancient archives. He searched there for some time, poring
over scores of dusty tomes until he found the locked
cabinet tucked away in the corner of the room. He quickly
picked the lock and opened the cabinet, revealing five
large tomes. Each one was bound in tanned and aged human
flesh, their pages having survived the millennia by means
of an ancient dweomer older than the Lady herself. He
carefully removed the books, feeling both reverence and
revulsion as he secreted them on his person. He left the
library and began his long, slow climb up the stairs to the
top of the Lady’s Pinnacle.
Silent was sitting on a stool at the bar of Tablenhelm’s
Fall when he felt the disturbance; a minute tug in his head
that accompanied the opening of a Way – and it was coming
from the tower. Seconds later, he burst through the door
of the Society’s Headquarters, trying to pinpoint the
source of the feeling. He rushed into the armory and heard
the sounds…from beneath him. After a minute or two of
frantic searching, he found the carefully concealed
trapdoor and slid down a ladder into a basement he didn’t
even know the structure had. He traveled down a short
hall, taking him out under the commons in front of the
tower and to a heavy door. He opened it carefully and went
through. On the other side, he found a large chamber with
intricately carved spires of black rock poking through the
dirt floor. It appeared to have once been the site of an
archaeological dig, but now there were just five men,
wearing the royal violet of the House of Turon, working
frantically to assemble some sort of frame in the middle of
the room. The tug in his mind came from there. He
coughed, startling the men who had been too engrossed in
their task to notice his entry.
“What are you men doing here?” he signed, his fingers
darting deftly through the Society’s hand-talk,” Actually,
come to think of it…who are you men?”
“Sir,” one of the men began, striding towards
Silent, “you’ve entered a restricted area, I have to ask
you to leave immediately and inform no one what you saw
here.” The man attempted to put a hand on Silent’s shoulder
but he ducked out of the way. The unmistakable click of
four crossbow safeties stopped him in his tracks.
“Sir,” the man continued, gently ushering Silent from the
room, “we have a lot of work to do and no time. Please.”
“On whose authority are you here?” Silent asked with his
“Under the authority of the Captain of the Storm Guard,
SIR.” And then the door was slammed shut, and Silent was
left alone in the hallway, stunned.
“Alex?” he mouthed silently.
When he finally regained his wits, he strode back into the
room bound and determined to find out what in the world was
going on. There he found two men instead of five.