The Restoration of Ystron-Mhavrieth
When Jaraswat’s crate was unpacked, a small and well-shielded niobium casket proved to contain a dragon-shaped sweater with a grand of neck-holes indicating as many languages spoken. There was no further information on it, but whose could it be but Jaraswat’s vanished student Ystron-Mhavrieth?
And where could Ystron-Mhavrieth be?
Tultamaan interviewed Lhury, the detective who had investigated Ystron-Mhavrieth’s vanishment.
“I understand that the Evidence you found was Incomplete. It was Inferior. It was not All It Might Be. If it were a dragon, it would be Myself,” said Tultamaan.
“Yes. Exactly,” snapped Lhury.
“Might further Evidence be of Any Use to the Investigation that is surely Ongoing?”
“There is no ongoing investigation. Nobody cares anymore what became of some unwise perverted bachelor drake who plotted against his mentor,” said Lhury. “Nor should they.”
“As it happens, Bachelor Drakes are the citizens of the world I have the Honor to call Home. The more Perverted and Unwise, it seems, the Better. From which you may Conclude whatever you Like. Well, Jaraswat is Dead or Gone Forever, or perhaps both at once. So it is About time to collect Ystron-Mhavrieth.”
“Dead, you say?” Lhury glared at Tultamaan with the painful glare that some light-breathing dragons develop. “Tell me of the circumstances of his death, and the evidence.”
So Tultamaan did, though he somehow minimized his own role in the affair and left off the other dragons’ names.
“I shan’t re-open the investigation. It was futile before, and after such time has passed, it shall be more futile,” snapped Lhury.
“Then you must have no further Need of any records or other Notes you may have taken during the investigation,” said Tultamaan, who had probably plotted the whole conversation. “So there is no Obstacle to providing me with them.”
“I suppose not,” snapped Lhury. “Here, take them, and pester me no more about one of my rare failures in detection!”
Lhury’s notes and clues were meagre enough. The greatest dragon detective was not much of a detective.
Tultamaan was more of one. He reasoned that Jaraswat would likely have put Ystron-Mhavrieth into some uninhabited world — uninhabited by dragons at least — or else Ystron-Mhavrieth would have been found long since. This could have been wrong in various ways: there are binding-spells and secret vaults, and disintegration-spells for that matter. But we do not think Jaraswat had mastered such potent magics. Basic travel spells are far more routine.
So, then, what non-dragon worlds would Jaraswat have been able to get reach-scales for? That was a small number indeed, for reach-scales to non-dragon worlds are rarely kept. Lhury’s investigation was not so cursory as to leave off tracking Jaraswat’s movements in the weeks before the vanishment, and Jaraswat did visit the Auxiliary Archives of the Royal Graulfnir Society of Sciences and Magics — and again in the week after the vanishment.
Which, when Tultamaan explored it, proved to be a large shed full of an assortment of scientific and magical detritus insufficiently interesting to be presented in the official Archives of that noble Society. It is catalogued unenthusiastically by some second-rate and severely bored graulf archivists. The visit of a dragon investigating a famous unsolved crime woke them up, and they tracked down the four reach-scales present in the Auxiliary Archives. One of them was in a distinctly claw-raked wooden box, scarred as if a dragon had clumsily tried to open it. Tultamaan started with that, and ended with that, too.
Tomblero, so designated by one of the few dragons who chose to visit it, is a Basic Ball in the middle of an ice age. It is cold. It is not wholly uninhabitable. The equatorial sea, unfrozen, supports a quite healthy ecosystem of fishes and octopoids. The scattering of un-iced islands and corner of a continent support a classical ecology of tall leafy trees and large fish-eating lizards.
One of whom was the delinguisticated Ystron-Mhavrieth, whom Tultamaan duly relinguisticated.
We have two rather divergent stories of what happened after that. Ystron-Mhavrieth simply says that he thanked Tultamaan with all the dignity and honor one gives to a drake who has just rescued one from a terrible fate. Tultamaan says that Ystron-Mhavrieth offered Certain One-Sided Erotic Recreations, and if he (Tultamaan) were going to indulge himself with drakes, he has far closer friends and former colleagues in the Expedition that he would ask first.
Ystron-Mhavrieth did move to Hove — where else? — and spent a great long while trading Jaraswat stories and semen with certain survivors of the company.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.