Heartskein (Fiction)

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First Edition Cover

The story of Vasiht'h picking up his kits from Anseahla's temple and things that happened along the way. It is a reader commissioned book.

But so much more happens in this book. Both V and J and many others get character development and a reconsideration of their places in the world. Powers are explored. Many people are transported to Escutcheon. A riot quelled. and more.

Publication Data[edit]

  • Series: Standalones
  • Book: Standalone
  • Publication Date: February 2020
  • Editions: Ebook and Paperback
  • Revisions: 1
  • Reader-Commissioned Book

Blurb[edit]

For as long as he could remember, Vasiht’h planned on starting a family, a plan that surviving the war only made more urgent. The temple on Anseahla has summoned him at last to pick up his new kits, an errand he decides will be an excellent opportunity to have some alone-time with his partner, Jahir. But his partner is now an imperial prince-consort, and Vasiht’h himself has more responsibilities than he anticipated, and it isn’t long before their private getaway turns into a huge production. And that’s before the children join the party!

But becoming a father is only one of the changes that Vasiht’h must accept as he moves into this newest phase of his life. For the longest time he’s thought of himself as living in an Eldritch shadow. If he wants to thrive–if he wants to lead his contingent of Glaseah to a fuller life themselves–he has to accept that sometimes a supporting role is just an excuse to stay out of the limelight….

Heartskein is a cozy science fiction novel and returns to the dreamhealers in their new roles as powers in the new Eldritch Empire: Jahir is now a married man and a prince, and Vasiht’h an administrator, a lord, and a father! But no matter what changes, some things stay the same: like a bond of love stronger than wars and unconquered by time. Come unwind, and meet the babies!

Tags and Content Notes[edit]

  • Tags: parenthood; space elves; multicultural; asexual; aliens; family; relationships
  • Rating: PG for references to adult situations

Buy Links[edit]

https://books2read.com/heartskein

Chapter by Chapter, to organize it all[edit]

as a summary, I am not going to give all and everything. Others coming after can tidy and finish. I intend to make a good start that can be build on. But detailed enough for SPOILERS so warning on that.

Chapter 1[edit]

  • V talks with Sehvi and decides he needs to delegate more, but not to his father, who needs time to adjust. (break) J and V talk.(break) V and J explore a book, a list of personal entries on mind mage stuff (=annals). It is disorganized, and makes V's fingertips throb, as though they were freshly burned. V lists out all the current threats and problems. Sediryl is expected, arrives, goes to bed, and V's tablet's alarm goes off. His children are ready to be picked up. J and V plan to pick up the kits, "It'll be nice, now that I think of it. for the two of us to be doing something together, the way we used to (V)"[1] (also irony)

Chapter 2[edit]

  • Two cousins and an aunt will be going with V. His mother talked to them and they have been on standby for a month. And the household is going to make beer. "Your children never belong to only you, (Sehvi)[2]Eight swords added to retinue. And will need to pick up military contractors to deliver them to Escutcheon. As holder of the Sword of State, J must inform the court of his departure.

Chapter 3[edit]

  • They(J & V) present themselves to the Empress (Liolesa), V is able to understand Eldren by mental connection with J. (Break) J talks with Val. "Because most people who tried to see the future went insane" (Val)[3]

"To answer your question... I don't dream, no. But I'm not an idiot, and unlike a lot of people, I'm not so busy denying the existence of the God and Goddess that I miss the evidence of Their movement in the universe. They don't create a Liolisa to rule a planetary empire. The structures of man don't interest them. Their scale is as large as Creation... and as intimate as the sapient soul. Everything in between is meaningless. (Val speaking)[4] "They give their secrets to those who love Them."(Val to J)[5]

Chapter 4[edit]

V talked with his minders (aunt Drusti, and cousins Josi and Vihthi) about the babys, the temple, about finding a wife (no said V), And with J plus internal conversation about the new existence of Eldritch military, about the uniforms, the White Swords, the Eldritch future, mind-mages, names for the triplets, and gelato. And viewpoints of their history.

Chapter 5[edit]

  • V was looking to have time with J, and finds taking that time to be a way to avoid his relative's chatter and advice.

Still, they no longer do the things that they did in college years and beyond. As well, having access to interstellar instant communication meant that they could be kept busy.

  • V went to the ship's gym, where he spared with the guards, and learns their names.
  • V, relaxing with J, observes that J does not love his new sword, J replies, "This sword is forged when men carried heavier weapons, and trained with them... because they were as likely to be killing monsters as fighting duels" [6]
  • (narration) That melancholy softness, like a tattered blanket, was surely Jahir's reflection that few were the Eldritch children who were honestly wanted. Not the way a typical Pelted child was. [7]
  • (quote, V to J) "I'm guessing that's a little of you wondering if I don't feel fulfilled. Or if I feel abandoned by you. Or if I want something like my parents have, since that's the model I grew up with. And maybe a little that youre happy with Sediryl and wonder if I am missing out on the chance to be happy too." He looked up a Jahir. "But I am happy, and I have enough people in my life,. You're closer to me than any friend I might have married, and no matter what you are doing or who you are with you're not with me, you're with me in a way no one else can guess at." [8]

Chapter 6[edit]

They reach Anseahla orbit, V sends his relatives shopping.

  • Guards must be with them. Guards: Noah Angstrom and Aria Nettlesdown mentioned and detailed.
  • The group goes to the temple, talks with the priestess, gets kids, who will be named when all family will be together.
  • (Narrative quote, V to self and J about new kits)Their sleeping spirits had a quality he was hard-pressed to describe... a newness that reminded him of an oyster shell opened to the sun, pearlescent and glowing [9] Jahir thinks the children can hear the mindlink, and that they feel like V more then his family does.
  • They get a class on infant care then check out of the temple. They decide to take a side trip through one of the busiest markets on planet. V soothes his kids mentally, and knows their needs almost instantly.
  • After buying plants and other stuff, they Pad to the starbase and then to their ship. And straight into the Aunt and Cousins who get upset, and upset the kids, until V calms them mentally,and takes them off to the nursery room.
  • V states that the Eldritch eventually will have psychologically healthy parents, even tho not Glaseah style but their own style.
  • V soothes the ruffled feathers of his relatives, explaining that they will be included in the care of his kits.

Chapter 7[edit]

  • The temple is ready with a team and full-temple stuff. Scheduling problem: too little time and the visit to the university to pick up the mind-mage books and advice is same time as temple appointment, as well, University prof only has an hour free,. V asks J if he or his people will mind having foreign priests/priests on Escutcheon, gets a go-ahead reply. V gets the temple assignment, J gets the university.
  • University: Called Tabula Rasa, it had a beautiful setting. High altitude, rain-forest, bright colors on birds and plants, many waterfalls. They go to the department of Philology, and meet Professor Chendra. (singluar use in the book series of the word/cuss 'Thethkamed'.) Gets told:mindline is rare, there are written criteria for it.(See Esper Talents, and Mind-mage, )

Chapter 8[edit]

Temple: The four temples are Thought, Breath, Words, Acts. The celebrant group at Acts (were V pads to) are eager to go. They are:

They are bringing a block of genetic donations.

  • University: J learns of the basic mind training. (on the original Glaseah mind-mages: "They existed," Chendra said. "As the original Glaseah decanted during the experiment. And I think from what was recorded that they had unusual esper levels. But what made us elevate them to the level of dva'htiht was they discovered our origins. That should not have been possible, that they did was, we thing, a sign of Goddess-touched power." [10] We know dva'htiht exist because there are mind-lines and mind-lines require a mind-mage.

"And your partner is definitely a mind-mage." J is given Chendra's training book/primer. It held her mental and emotional impressions made as she learned and grew into her body and powers.

  • Starship: "They say the mindline exists, in part, so that its participants can grow to be greater than they could ever alone" [11]
  • (narrative quote) Jahir considered him (V) and there it was, in his (J's) eyes: that hint of something otherworldly that suggested far deeper insight than normal. It turned the honeyed yellow of his irises into something that reminded Vasiht'h of the gold that rimmed clouds at sunrise, scintillating, suggestive of more sacred light behind them. [12]

Chapter 9[edit]

  • They travel back to the starbase. V does a real time call to his sister Sehvi, they talk about the problems of setting up the priest/ess on Escutcheon, they can not be set up until off-world contractors are hired to build the basic buildings. V has no ideas on names for his children.
  • J asks V for advice on either accepting Pelted tech, or becoming people who produce pelted tech. V refuses, saying that the choice must be the choice of the culture and he does not have enough links to have valid input.
  • V thinks that Crispin is alive and might be listening.
  • Kit's proposed names in Glasean are: Evan, Anoc, and Thauvi. Read more in those links.

Chapter 10[edit]

Still on the ship

  • (narrative from J) Reading the Glaseahn primer was an experience balanced between wonder, heartbreak, and whimsy. The first to see that all his people had turned their faces from so clearly explicated in a fashion that normalized its existence. Practical exercises in focus and concentration alternated with cheerful explanations of the ethical and mannerly use of mind talents; the authors of the primer typically framed these latter sections as role-playing exercises designed for their young audiences.[13]
  • After reading that book, complete with the possibility of mind-healers and mind-slaves, J went to the gym. There his weakened wrists betrayed him and his sparing partner, Thorlon, gives advice. That led to a discussion of loyalty, and strangeness, and that led to a discussion of them pledging to him. J defers that pledging to a more sacred time. And starts learning exercises for his arms that will help spare his wrists.
  • J and V have a talk about mind slaves while bottle feeding V's kits. J tells V he will take the guards into his service.

Chapter 11[edit]

  • J&V are in awe, the ship docks inside the spindle and everything is huge, vast, big.
  • The activities, like pick up the extra contractors, are delayed for a day by a person being late, no anger, just opportunity to explore and shop. Captain NeverDaunted mentioned, he is captain of the ship.
  • V is slowly getting used to being a mind-mage, it is a change in his self image.
  • V's relatives do not trust him after what he did last time when he picked up the infants and took them shopping, so departure is delayed and staggered so one relative is with the kids at all times.
  • V & J & Bodyguards (2 Pelted 2 Eldritch) go explore the starbase, and J knows where a good restaurant is.
  • They enter the city high up, the view down includes an area for concerts and entertainment. They go up to the restaurant. The Pelted bodyguards patrol while the two eat, the Eldritch guards sit and get used to the gravity and the high touch-threat.
  • After dinner, they go shopping, muse about how money can help and hurt, V buys a hobby horse for imperial kids to be, and the same one for his. And they descend for entertainment.
  • Narrative quote (V): A universe with epic wars between shapeshifters and psychic mages might also contain cookies and college courses, but not without in inevitable increase in scope.[14]
  • They arrive near an open air amphitheater. A crowd suggested something going on, they explore.
  • They crested the top of the bowl and stared down at a tod-fox on the stage. He is rousing the crowd to anger. "We have to stop this"-V.
  • (Narrative quote, V:) Sudden and shocking memories of his own misery on that broken down scout they'd picked Lisinthir up in. His protestations to J that he did not want to fight, would never be the kind of person who made oaths to protect people, had not promised himself to any sovereign, particularly if it meant heading into violence. Every moment where he'd said that doing things like this was someone else's job, and the best he could do was to stand back and help them. So *many* moments. But the call (to action) was real. [15]
  • Todfox's internal hurt is being spread through the crowd, V heads for the stage, tells J to keep the crowd from exploding until he gets there. Emotional debate follows. The city peacekeepers are ready, and V wins. He spends the end of the evening hugging hurt people.
  • V says: "And I'm telling you the anger we feel about Fleet not stopping them is *nothing* to the rage and guilt and shame that Fleet feels about failing us." [16]
  • Big book climax when V quells a riot and the aftermath.
  • Guards understand that V and/or J can handle bigger things than they had supposed.
  • They meet Mina and Montie, who will be returning with them, making the most of their Eldritch experience.
  • After, Later back in the ship, J and V talk, V understands his new self image better. V:"Somethings are more important than my own life."

V said that he gets to dance the acceptance of his kids dance when they get to Escutcheon, J wants to be partner. Jahir sings an old Eldritch poem. [17]

Chapter 12[edit]

  • They (V&J) meet the human contractors, Monte and Mina, see list of contractors for rest
  • (Quote J) "I have seen several human-only contingents on these ships. The monarchy has always kept a financial hand in affairs on Terra, so it would not surprise me did we discover they also maintained communications with select and trusted people [18]
  • V mentions to them about homebrewed beer
  • Mina apologizes to V for the earler meeting and hurried priorities. (see other book)
  • Captain NeverDaunted sorted the fleet personal/new contractors into their quarters.
  • They arrive to Escutcheon,J escorts the new contractors to the palace
  • V sends people in his own order, the Aunt with Thauvi, the cousins with the boys, the priests with their box, and that distracts all, and V Pads in with the luggage.
  • (narrative quote:)V did not hide his amusement, knowing they'd assume it was about something normal and easy, not about coming to terms with your mind-mage powers while calming a rally intent on violence,and following it up with the complete rearrangement of your worldview and your perception of your role in it.
  • J left the ship (REN Corel the First) directly for Ontine, the fleet contractors will be received formally on landing. He had changed clothes on the ship, and was received in the Blue room, a chamber too small to include the court. J speculates that Liolosa is going to spring the contractors on the court at a later and better time, of her own choosing.
  • See chaptr 12 quote in quotes.
  • Sediryl and Jahir talk about V's kits, the Glasean mind book, her talents and training.
  • On a ride to the cathedral Thorton, the guard, asks for training in the alliance for all guards, rotated so that J will always have some. J says that has to include adaption to the gravity, Thorton braces, and affirms that such is what they want.
  • Val has found a teacher for J. (A surprise for later)
  • J presents himself tho the court, bearing the sword of state. He is asked after V, as his brother, replies will present new family members soon.
  • And mindline: V tells him to go home to his wife. J Pads home.

Chapter 13[edit]

V is going before the Empress (Liolesa) to announce his kits. Finds out that he is the heir of Seni. Implications discussed. [19]

  • Kits presented, names publicly withheld until temple ceremony.
  • After the presentation, Val meets J in the halls of Ontine. They joke, J is asked if he has eaten, and they take horse to the Cathedral. Val stays on his horse, J and the swords enter, pairing off to guard as J enters.
  • Jahir meets Liolesa, who tells him that this is where she met the Divine, and gained her powers in a vigil. He accepts the vigil, and the possibility of meeting the Powers, but is not sure of accepting the mission. "You told Valthial that you desire teaching, that you wish to master the gift. Before you receive it in full, you must ask for it" (Liolesa)[20]
  • (Liolesa to Jahir:)"But if you sit this vigil, and if the God and Goddess come to you, you will never again see this world as you do now. Itis a burden to know things you cannot reveal, and twice a burden to see fates you cannot advert. The true practice in this talent is not seeing the future clearly. It is learning how to live with what you see without being crushed by your sense of powerlessness... and how to sidestep futures that are all but inevitable, save that you fling yourself from their path at the last possible moment. Do you really want this road?" answer: "I don't know."[21]
  • "Am not my equal yet," Liolesa said. "If you choose my road, though, you will be my only peer." She said it lightly, but her eyes shown, and in that heartbeat he perceived, staggeringly, the weight of her loneliness...and she knew it.<Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle page 221/249</ref>
  • (narrative quote) His next breath was a sob, and he reached for the presences and was embraced, and it was every safety he had ever needed when kneeling, and every ecstasy, and every completion[22]
  • (narrative quote) When he opened his eyes again to a merely mortal world, it was no longer merely anything. He breathed, and between those breaths glimpsed unfolding universes contained in time, and some of those universes were tightly knotted to his lifting chest, and some only loosely so, and moving created new ones. [23]
  • He and she discuss guards/guardians, he says he will request them at court. [24]
  • Jahir calls Liolesa 'Sister' and she calls him 'Brother' after the vigil is done. There will be more tests and refinement in his future. [25]

Chapter 14[edit]

  • The siv't is under the big tree== Summary beyond blurb, slowly being erased as the chapter by chapter takes material. ==

Beyond what the blurb says: the guards assigned to the pair pledge fealty(or something like it) to j, likely a few things missed.

  • The celebration is both there and in the community center
  • V & J dance the acceptance of his Kits, and both are good at it, J has practiced
  • Sehvi teaches Sediryl the dance

The three helpers[edit]

two cousins Viht'hi, Josi, and an aunt, Drusti were sent as helpers.

Eldritch security[edit]

Assigned to them by the Lord of War[26][27] See Jahir's Retinue

After return from planet side, we learn of these names:

New Temple group, see Chapter 8 description[edit]

Fleet people assigned to Jahir[edit]

the Alliance intelligence pair of

and some human Fleet contractors (including

Characters[edit]

Quotes[edit]

(see also chapter quotes) "We're the kind of society where peacekeepers aren't stormtroopers." [28]

(narration) Vasiht'h did not hide his amusement, knowing that they'd assume it was about something normal and easy, not about arrangement of your worldview and your perception of your role in it." [29]

(narration) While standing, unremarked, he (Jahir) sank back into the cradle of the minds that guarded this world: Val's nearby, Hirianthial's in the distance, and here. of course, both his Empress's and his wife's, though Sediryl remained blissfully unaware of the fountain of heat and light she generated merely by existing" [30]

(narration) There were many things about Eldritch culture that stifled and oppressed, and Jahir hoped those things would be amendable to change, were that change introduced properly. But there were many things about their culture worth preserving, that comforted and gave dignity to its participants.[31]

(narration) It used to be easier for him (V) to sympathize with her (Sediryl) desire to modernize everything and 'free' people from drudgery, until Jahir's observations made it plain that you could not call it freedom if what you were delivering people to was idleness, and a feeling that they were unnecessary. [32]

reference[edit]

(reference)

  1. Heartskein, Chapter 1, Kindle page 24 of 249, Trade-back page pg 18 of 226
  2. Heartskein, Chapter 2, kindle page 28 of 249, trade back page 22
  3. Heartskein, Chapter 3, Kindle page 48 of 249,Tradeback page 40
  4. Heartskein, Chapter 3, Kindle page 49 of 249, trade back page 42
  5. Heartskein, Chapter 3, Kindle page 50 of 249, trade back page 43
  6. Heartskein, Chapter 5, Heartskein, kindle page 62, trade back page 55
  7. Heartskein, Chapter 5, Kindle page 64 of 249, trade back page 43
  8. Heartskein, chapter 5, Kindle page 66, Trade back page 59
  9. Heartskein, Chapter 6, kindle page 76, TradeBack page 68
  10. Heartskein, Chapter 8, Kindle page 113/249, trade page 105
  11. Heartskein, Chapter 8, Kindle page 119/249, Trade page
  12. Heartskein, end of chapter 8,
  13. Heartskein, beginning of chapter 10
  14. Heartskein, Chapter 11, Kindle page 160/249, Trade page 150/226
  15. Heartskein, Chapter 11, Kindle page 164 of 249, Trade page 153
  16. Heartskein, Chapter 11, Trade page 164 of 226
  17. see Lullabies, Heartskein section
  18. Heartskein, start of chapter 12
  19. Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle pages 209 to 215/249
  20. Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle page 219/249
  21. Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle page 220/249
  22. Heartskein, Chapter 13, kindle page 224/249
  23. Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle page 225/249
  24. Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle page 229/249
  25. Heartskein, Chapter 13, Kindle page 225/249
  26. Heartskein, Chapter 6, Kindle page 69, Trade back page 62
  27. Heartskein, Chapter 7, Kindle 102/249,Trade 94/226
  28. Heartskein, Chapter 11, Kindle page 182 of 249
  29. Heartskein, Chapter 12, Kindle page 195/249, trade page 182/226
  30. Heartskein, Chapter12, Kindle page 196 of 249
  31. Heartskein, Chapter 12 after 4th break, Kindle page 200 of 249,
  32. Heartskein, chapter 13, Kindle page 208 of 249