Welcome back to Horizon! The last time we left Iwan Urisini and his group of Lorian settlers hadrecently set up a colony on planet Earth. Of course, they hadn’t meant to come to Earth, but a hyperdrivemalfunction had caused them to drift through space for 300 years rather than 3 months. Landing onEarth, meant they needed to take special precautions to protect not only themselves but the human localpopulation. A magical barrier was constructed by the gypsy matriarchs to hide the settlement fromunwanted eyes. Everything was going well for the small colony when Iwan had just awoken from anotherprophetic dream. He had decided he should speak with the family and colony’s resident guardian BranWalosenko. Conveniently enough, Bran’s son Kay was having his childhood birthday.
“John, Luis is here. We need to get going or we’ll be late for Kay’s party.”Iwan finished the sentence he’d been working on and closed his journal. Keeping a journal wasone way to keep track of his dreams as well as a form of therapy for dealing with them. It hadbeen his father’s suggestion when his gift had appeared when he was 11. It had been veryhelpful over the years to have a place to record his thoughts and feelings on these strangevisions. Because honestly sometimes he just didn’t want to talk about them. “Coming Claire!”he called.
Meanwhile across town, Ryker was also getting ready to head to the party. “You could always come alongif you want Nerissa.”Nerissa Inada smiled, “No, you go ahead. They’re your family. I don’t want to intrude.”The Akivari grunted,” You wouldn’t be interfering.”Nerissa just waved a hand as she headed out the door, “Have a good time Ry. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“You ready to grow up little man?”“Grow up be BIG!” Kay shouted.“Inside voice sweetie!” Allyn called from the kitchen.Kay though couldn’t quite master an inside voice. He whispered loudly, “Be big!”Bran laughed, “Close enough.”
“Bran! Aiden’s here.”“Aiden!” Bran grinned. “I didn’t expect to see you.”“But we’re glad he’s here aren’t we dear?” Allyn asked as she rubbed her swollen belly.“Of course we are. You have to stick around for the party.”Aiden rolled his eyes, “That’s kind of why I’m here in the first place Bran. Iwan invited me.”“Great! Hear that Kay, someone else came to your party.”“Yay! More friens!”
“Though that descendant of mine didn’t mention you two were expecting another baby. Congratulations.”“Thanks buddy!” Bran grinned." You ever think about settling down again and having more kids…how does 10sound?”“What?”Allyn cut in to save Aiden from her husband, “We’re both very excited. And Bran, Aiden’s love life is none of ourbusiness. Now if you two will excuse me I need to make sure Kay’s cake doesn’t fall.”“I hep!” Kay squealed as he made a mad dash for the kitchen.“Kay! No honey stay away from the stove!”
As the sun finally set and all the guests arrived, Bran brought his son to the cake.“Alright Bran. Time to make a wish.”“Hmm let me dink…okay. READY!”“Inside voice Kay.” Allyn moaned.Her husband and LOUD son just laughed.
“I don’t think you’re having much luck there Allyn.” Claire teased.“Ah leave the boy alone.” Ry-Ry chimed in cheerfully from the corner.“Fine, I guess I’ll just make noise too then. See how you all like it.” Allyn pulled out anoise maker and made the loudest noise she could. To her satisfaction Bran winced, butKay just giggled with pleasure.
“Hi Miss Claire!” Kay said as he bounded away from the kitchen sink. “How do you bend yourleg up all the way like that? Does it hurt?”Claire smiled, “No, it doesn’t hurt. It just takes practice.”“WE SHOULD PRACTICE TOGETHER!”“Kay!”“I mean, HEY RY-RY WAIT I WANNA COME WITH YOU!” and with a flash he as gone.
As the back door slammed shut, Allyn sighed, “That boy..I swear.”Claire chuckled as she slid onto the couch. “You’ve got your hands full with thatone don’t you?”“Just that one? I wish.”
From his place on the other couch Bran spoke up, “ Hey now. I’m no trouble at all am IIwan?”“Hmm. Yes no trouble at all.” Iwan replied sarcastically.“Well you’re no help at all. Say are you okay?”“Had another dream last night.”“Oh? One we should talk about?”
“Most of it was fine. But the last bit well I don’t know…it’s got me uneasy.”“How so?”“In the dream I saw Rick Contrary and the gypsy matchmaker. She’d brought over hisintended bride. But here’s the thing…the girl…I think it was Vyn Jeffress.”“The Nectu girl that helps Luis and Victor at their shop? Why does that make youuneasy? The gypsies always use the matchmaker to find their children a spouse.”
“I know…but Vyn didn’t look too happy to be there. I mean it was like I could feelthe emotions of the moment. I’ve never done that before, but I felt anger and fear.Why would I feel fear?”Bran looked perplexed. “I’m not sure. Let me grab Ryker. See what he thinks. Illmeet you on the porch in just a sec.”
“I’m okay. I’m okay.”Ryker grinned. “You’re doing fine for your first run kid.” He looked up and saw Branstanding on the porch waving him over.“Sorry kiddo, but looks like duty calls. Why don’t you go keep your Mom and Miss Clairecompany?”Kay sighed, “Alright…but mom’ll probably make me read or something.”
“You could feel the emotions through the dream?”“That is normal isn’t it?” asked Bran.“Oh not to worry he’s not going into an overload. I’ll admit it’s been generations since the dreamerscould feel through their dreams. But it was once quite common. It seems Iwan inherited a great deal ofthe old magic. I think Aiden marrying into the Goldweaver family may be why everyone of the kids bornto Kalana and after showed a much stronger connection to magic than they had before. Though withmore power we should carefully train the children so they can handle it.”
“Thanks for reviving the magic great-”“If you call me great-grandfather again I’m going to flay you alive.”Iwan rolled his eyes. “So should I be doing anything extra? I mean since I canfeel emotions in the dreams. I don’t want to overload.”“Do you have a chess set? I’d suggest using it to calm your mind beforebed…”
“Or you can meditate…well I never thought I’d see a descendent of Toren that didn’tlike chess.”“So,” Aiden cut in, “Iwan’s dream do you think it’s anything to worry about. This girland the gypsy matchmaker.”
“It’s true that some gypsies have misused their power in the past. They infected the elves withthe virus which all but wiped them out, infected my people with an allergy to the sun, theyunleashed the storm upon Loros which threw Loros into an apocalypse. And while I think mostof them are good people, I was concerned from the beginning about the Contrary’s motivation tojourney with us. I’ll speak with John Mole before I head home. It couldn’t hurt to let the gypsiesknow we suspect trouble might be brewing.”Aiden nodded, “You do that. I have no desire to live through an apocalypse.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Good evening Grandmaster. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”“I wish I were here under better circumstances John, but I’m here to ask you for a favor.”“How can I be of assistance?”“I just need you to keep your eyes and ears open in the gypsy compound. We’re concernedthere is trouble brewing.”
“Might I ask what kind of trouble?”“I’m sorry John, my details at the moment are sketchy. I just know that the Contrary’s and the Jeffressfamily are involved.”“The servants? I see. I’ll keep my eyes open though surely Edward would not want to bring suchdishonor to his family by marrying his only son to a serving wench.”“There are not many gypsies with our group John, and if the matchmaker insisted…”“Yes, of course.”
For his part John certainly hoped the matchmaker had not been corrupted. Herservices were greatly needed among his people. How else would the gypsies findappropriate matches for their children? He gently stroked his daughter’s brown curls.There was no cause for alarm yet. The Akivari himself said it was all just speculation.So why didn’t he feel reassured?
Perhaps because the fights between Edward and his heir Rick were becomingmore and more frequent. It didn’t help that John had suspected for years thatEdward had dealings with less than honorable men.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Ryker! You made it. How was the party?”“It went very well. Kay’s still a bundle of energy. The whole family is at a loss whenit comes to figuring out where he gets it from.”Nerissa laughed, “Yes, where could all that energy have come from?”
Ryker whipped out his binoculars whistling innocently. “I suppose somethings shall always remain a mystery.”“I suppose so.”
“So what’s next on your agenda Grandmaster?”“Well if you mean after our date, I’ll be teaching dance lessons this afternoon.”“Oh are we calling our outings dates now? And here I thought you weren’t looking fora serious relationship.”“I wasn’t. But one seems to have found me.”
“So does this mean you’re going to introduce me to your family now? Andshould I start picking out bridesmaid dresses?”Ryker gently took Nerissa’s hand, “Hmm, it just might.”Nerissa giggled. “Youre just too cute.”
“But what I’d like to do right at this moment Ry, is have some tea.”“Shall I serve?”“We both know you’re going to insist on waiting on me.”
“What can I say? I’m old fashioned.” he winked playfully at Neri.“Never change. You hear me?”“Honey if I haven’t changed by now, I don’t think there’s much chanceof it ever happening.”
Ryker’s next big engagement was the birthday of the Ursini twins. He found Axel and Lexa’sbirthday to be the perfect opportunity to introduce Nerissa to the entire family.Claire grinned at her husband. “Iwan, would you look at that the Grandmaster has agirlfriend.”Iwan winked. “I know.”“You are going to tease me forever about this aren’t you?”
“Aiden! You here for our birday!”“You bet. So let’s go blow out those candles. I want some of that cake.”“Cake!”
“John, I didn’t expect to see you here.”“Good afternoon Grandmaster. Mr. Ursini invited us to the party. He thought it would be nice for ourchildren to get to know one another.”“It’s good to see you John. Inderb.” With that Ryker headed off to speak with Bran.But Inderb was much too interested in the green Akiari to notice that Ryker had spoken to her. She’dnever seen Mr. Bran before and she found his green skin quite interesting to look at.
“Inderb.” John growled, “It is not very becoming of a lady to stare at others. Second why did you not speak withGrandmaster Kim?”Inderb slowly turned to face her father. Her first social outing and she was making a mess of things. “I’m sorry Father.I’ll go and speak with Grandmaster Kim.”“It’s too late for that. The opportunity has already passed.” He continued angrily, “If this is how you will behave inpublic then perhaps you are not yet ready to leave the compound as I thought.”Poor Inderb was on the verge of tears. She stood wringing her hands nervously behind her back trying to figure out whatto say that would appease her father.
Iwan stood nearby and could not help but frown with dislike. It seemed to him that John wasthe one behaving poorly not his daughter. But he held his tongue. It wasn’t his place to interferewith how John chose to raise his daughter. He attempted to diffuse the tension by getting theball rolling. “Alright Lexa, let’s blow out those candles.” he announced loudly to the crowd.
“I should take you home right now.” John continued to berate his daughter. He wascompletely embarrassed by her lack of manners. He’d really thought she was ready for apublic outing. The Grandmaster and the head of the colony were here for goodnesssake!Ryker slipped in trying to save the poor girl from her father’s wrath, “John, I’m notoffended in the slightest. It’s not everyday a young lady gets the chance to meetsomeone that is green. And honestly with all the noise, she probably didn’t hear me.”
“I’m told I can be quite distracting.” Bran added with a laugh“Bran,” Allyn hissed, “I don’t think you’re helping.“I’m sorry for not speaking to you before Grandmaster Kim.” Inderb spoke up boldly.She gave her best curtsey and smiled, “If Father will allow me to stay at the party Iwould make up for my earlier rudeness. Perhaps we could have cake together?”
“I’d like that. And I certainly do hope your Father permits you to stay. After all, Rykerwhispered, “I was hoping there’d be another pretty young lady to help me teach my friendNerissa how to dance.”Inderb’s green eyes popped out of her head.“Very well Inderb we will stay.” Perhaps he was being unreasonable. After all his daughterseemed truly repentant of her slip in manners and the Grandmaster didn’t seem too unhappy.
After the canldes had been blown out and the kids had aged, Lexa approached Inderb.“Hey Inde you wanna come play catch with me and Axel.”“I must decline as I already promised a dance to Grandmaster Kim.”Lexa looked quizzically at the other girl, “You mean Ry-Ry? Well okay. If you changeyour mind, we’ll be out back.”“Alright then” was all Inderb could think to say.
Lexa was a little disappointed that her game of catch had to be put on hold. Her twin brother wanted to have cake first.She didn’t really want any as she hated sweets. “That girl Inde, she’s a bit of a bore isn’t she?” Lexa complained. Shestared at her uneaten cake, “And she looks kind of like an ape doesn’t she with those lips?”Axel put down his fork having devoured his own slice of cake, “That’s not nice Lexa. Inderb seems like a very nicegirl to me. She’s just a little more girly than you. And she’s got very pretty eyes.”“I guess. Come on let’s go play catch!”“Uh sure sis…right after I eat your cake.”
But Lexa didn’t get to play catch. One look into the study on the way outside, and Axel had gotten it into hishead that it wasn’t very nice to leave Mr. Mole playing chess all by himself. Honestly he was a grown-upcouldn’t he entertain himself? She wandered into the yard hoping maybe her dad wasn’t too busy to play. Ormaybe Aiden.
But her dad and Aiden were busy talking. After being told it was rude to interrupt, she was told to gofind a way to amuse herself. Her dad even suggested she go play dolls with Inde! She’d rolled hereyes at that.In the end she found Bran wasn’t busy and ended up hanging out with him for the rest of the party.He was pretty fun although he kept trying to talk to her about dresses and jewelry which was a littleannoying. But overall, she liked Bran. She liked him quite a bit actually, and his son Kay soundedlike fun.
Meanwhile Axel had decided within five minutes that chess was the best game that had ever been invented.He didn’t understand why his dad and mom never seemed to play. Sure it was hard, but Mr. Mole wasproving to be a good teacher. Or at least Axel thought so. “So you write stories for a living?”“Yes, I do Mr. Urisini.”It was funny how Mr. Mole insisted on calling him “Mr. Ursini.” He was rather enjoying it actually. Normallykids didn’t get called stuff like Mr. unless they were in trouble. “Do you like writing?”“Yes, I enjoy it very much. You are in check Mr. Ursini.”
“Oh.” he moved another piece, “Does your daughter like to play chess Mr. Mole?”John frowned. The young man had not only managed to get himself out of check, but it now appeared thatAxel had been attempting to set him up. He could see that he had almost put himself in a trap and lost theentire game. Quite a clever lad. “Yes, she and I play in the evenings.”“Do you think my sister and I could come over this weekend? I’d really like to get to know Inderb better.She seems really nice.”“It would be fine with me Mr. Urisini, as long as your parents consent of course.”
“So why am I playing this again?”“Because Ryker said it would be helpful and secondly because your son has shown an interest in it, and you want toencourage him.”“Right. So the kids are going to visit the Mole’s on Saturday.”Claire nodded as she moved a piece, “I told Axel we were okay with that. That poor girl could use a friend or two don’tyou think?”“Now Claire, it’s not our place to judge John. And besides from what I’ve seen in the past he loves her very dearly.He’s just very formal. Most gypsies are.”
Upstairs the twins were in Axel’s room. “And why would I want to go over to the ape girl’s housewith you?” Lexa whined. She was still upset with her twin brother for not playing catch with her.“Come on Lexi, give her a chance. You barely talked to her today. And don’t call her an ape. It’smean.”“Fine.” Lexa huffed. “I guess it would be better than sitting around the house alone all day.”“That’s the spirit!”
“You wanted to see me before bed Father?” Inderb asked hesitantly. Was he still mad ather about this afternoon? Inde certainly hoped not. She didn’t like it when her father wasunhappy.“Yes. First, let me say that I wanted to apologize for this afternoon. I shouldn’t havesnapped at you. You did quite well all things considered. Just try not to ignore people inthe future, child. It’s quite rude.”
“Now how does a story sound?”Inderb ginned from ear to ear, “Can you read me the one about the Gnome and theTroll? I like that one.”
On Saturday morning, Inderb was surprised to find several of the local children hadcome to visit her. Axel and Lexa Urisini were there and Axel’s new friend PaulineAspir had come too.The four children had gone into the back of the compound to play mahjong. Lexaquickly decided she didn’t like this mahjong game.
She also decided that Pauline Aspir was a bore too. She liked pink. And Axel kept talking toPauline and Inderb more than he did her. She was his twin. Why’d he always want to spend timewith other people? Other people weren’t so great. At least, Lexa hadn’t met anyone she thoughtwas that great.
“I apologize for my sister Miss Mole. She can be such a bore.” Axel did his bestto mimic the gypsy and his twin sister at the same time.Lexa pursed her lips not finding his teasing the least bit funny.Across the table Pauline laid down her rack of tiles. She looked at Inderbnervously, “I won, I think.”
Inderb smiled softly at Pauline and did her best to ignore Lexa. She could tell sheand Miss Aspir were going to be good friends. She was glad Axel had brought her toplay too. “Yes, you won.”
“Whoopee!” said Lexa sarcastically.Inderb barely refrained from sighing with annoyance. She smoothed the kink in herdress and tried to be a good hostess. “Do you like to dance? The Grandmaster taughtme one that is very fun.”
“Yes!” Axel shouted in excitement. “Ry-Ry knows the best dances ever.”Pauline nodded shyly. Even Lexa couldn’t complain about this new suggestion.Anything Ryker could come up with would have to be fun. It would certainly bebetter than playing mahjong all afternoon.
And it was…the kids had a blast trying to smustle. Lexa had to admit ol ape face wasactually pretty good at it. Maybe there was hope for the stuffy old gypsy girl after all.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Ricardo! Stop playing in the sacred fountain and come here. Your mother and Ineed to discuss something with you.”Rick just sighed.
“Yes Father?” he bit out between gritted teeth.“Watch your tone.” Edward snapped back.
“Yes, Ricardo watch you tone. It is certainly no way to speak.”“Of course mother.”“That’s much better. Now, the Matchmaker is coming tomorrow so be sure toshower tonight. You want to look your best when you meet your wife.”
His wife. How was he supposed to just fall in love with some girl that an old womanpicked out for him? Rick wasn’t ready for this. But whether he was ready or not, his wifewould be here tomorrow. He just hoped they got along….
Yep that’s where I’m leaving you. I’m mean I know. So what will happen between Rick and hischosen bride? Is the gypsy matchmaker corrupt? Will Lexa ever make a friend? Will Kay evermaster being quiet…(I doubt it)So stats: Pretty much the population is exactly where it was at the end of the last update. See Iwas addicted to playing and played farther than I’d written. Which is part of the reason whymy SM is already so high.Anyway I’ll leave you with a final photo of Ryker and Nerissa. No I didn’t plan that. I shouldhave known though since Ryker has family as a secondary that this was going to happen.Besides, I can’t tellhim no. Especially,when they have 3natural bolts andthey’re so adorable.
Alright I had to share this one too. John’s smustle face is kinda creepy. But he is agood dad. He’s always tucking Inde in, reading her stories, and stuffs. He justsometimes get a wee bit grouchy on me.