An Evil Fleet of Sand Skimmers
Zaine of the Noble House Leidos (Leeds)
Young telekinetic patrician with a head for buisness and a keen fashion sense
When I was ….
…3, I remember Praetor Darian saying to my father “… so many children have come to me and displayed some innate psionic talents but your daughter is truly… what should I say?…gifted.” Praetor Darian was brought to our villa to assess my abilities for acceptance to the Cerebron. “When she is of age and fully trained in the Way, she will make a fine Patrician in the service for his most powerful Andropinis.” My father knelt down and hugged me; you did not need to be psychic to sense his pride, but I kept my attention fully on Praetor Darian because he scarred me. The Templar, also smiling, whispered under his breath to his underling but the only words I could make out were “…Finally…mind lords …and Andropinis.. truth.”
When I was 7, I caught the attention of a tutor at the Cerebron. Master Jiraduhn Rahm realized I was not challenged with the normal curriculum and offered to individualize my training. Master Rahm taught me the laws of the physical world. When I fully understood them and thought of them as undeniable truths; Master Rahm taught me how to break these laws with a thought. It was then I started questioning what truth is. “Can what I believe as truth actually be a lie” I asked Master Rahm. This question stopped him in his tracks. “When I teach, you take what I say to be fact. You believe these facts to be true because I am in a position of authority over you. I am here to teach you the facts and truths about the world. BUT, what if I taught you that 1 + 1 = 3 and made it a truth; would you know this to be a lie?“ I shook my head no. He continued…”let’s discuss history and the arcane…”
When I was 13, I was introduced to all of Balic’s noble houses, as most of the patrician girls are, in a grand gala. As you can imagine this event was high fashion with higher expectations. It was after the gala Master Rahm brought me to the villa of Zaethus Nauripides. His villa was just across the hillside over from my families. I had always wanted to be invited to his villa. He was known for entertaining many of the most influential nobles in Balic, including the playwright Ramphion. As I waited for an audience with Master Nauripides, I again heard the words “mind lords… Andropinis…truth” spoken in hushed tones this time by Master Rahm.
When I was 15, I met Praetor Darian again. He had come to the Cerebron to interrogate students and staff about the Veiled Alliance. He had just been appointed by Dictator Andropinis the templar in charge of destroying the Veil. He suspected everyone of being a part of the Alliance. Some students and tutors were detained and led out of the school in shackles, including Master Rahm. It was then I decided I had learned all I would at the Cerebron, so I went home and started working with my father.
When I was 17, I had a conversation with my father that started a journey:
“Unless you tell me what it is, I can’t help you. And I can’t do my job. You want the house of Leidos to continue to thrive. I do as well. Remember, in this room, I’m your servant, your advisor. Have I ever failed you in anything?”
“Ah, my dearest daughter, you are right, and I am wrong, I should never have involved you in the business, you had such a future ahead of you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The reserve obols after the harvest — I had a plan to invest them, earn some money on them.”
“We did. Did we lose on it?”
“More than lose. I contracted to provide iron delivery futures. That old bastard Kalak has always kept a decent flow coming out of his mines. It’s always been easy enough to buy some in bulk, deliver, and sell the rest for a modest profit. It’s never been a large moneymaker, but a safe enough way to keep the obols active and multiplying slightly for a couple of months.”
“But something happened this time?”
“The iron supply out of Tyr has slowed to a trickle. What I can buy is at a price far above the futures’ delivery rate, and I probably couldn’t get a tenth of what I need to deliver. I’m going to start rolling payments soon, building interest, buy some time.”
“And you don’t know what happened?”
“The last reports indicated that there was a shortage of iron being shipped out of Tyr. They’ve been out of contact for a while. Maybe they’ve figured the grass is greener, maybe something else.”
“I’ll go. You know I can figure out what’s going on, and if there’s a source of iron there, I can pry it loose.”
“Absolutely not! It’s far too dangerous.”
Within a week I was off to Tyr.