“Knowing your name is important. The fairies know that having a true name grants power, therefore they place high importance on names. Yet, names are often underestimated, as most people never realize their potential.”
“Your sour expression should be recorded for the sake of ensuing ages. Is it really that bad to use your given name?” Janice giggles. It's clear that our deal is the cause of her evil delight.
At first, I played with the thought of using forcefields to add some free space to the island. Then I thought about landing Illum. In the end, I gave up on those options. Too much can go wrong and it’s sure that Illum would be blamed if there are any problems while this event is ongoing.
In the end, I had to bite into the sour apple. “I am not mad about the name. I am mad that you had me swear an oath to use it!” I complain while watching the preparations for the feast. The area which I got assigned has no more than four thousand square metres, but my employees will make up for that with the best decorations which Illum has available. Before we left the Alliance, Dorver saw to it that we are properly stocked with everything that might be needed. It’s not like I have money issues, so I ordered to fill our warehouses to the limit.
Then there is the little fact that I used spacial magic to increase my area's size.
Doing this without walls wasn't easy, but I found a loophole to solve the mathematical problem. Spacial magic is a matter of changing the laws of physics, but there are rules and limitations.
I point at one of my workers. “You there! I want our crest in the centre of the dance floor so that everyone can see it.” The poor man nods and hurries to reposition the pole which is displaying Illum's insignia.
“I wanted to ask, but is there a reason for using the last letter in the Greek alphabet?” Janice asks. She studies the decorations with great interest.
“No. I simply drew whatever came to mind and ordered the seamstresses to use it as a guideline in order to make whatever flags or crests we need.” Well, maybe there is a little foreshadowing involved, but I'll be damned if I admit anything.
Illum's crest is an upside down Omega which encases an infinity symbol. The symbols are golden, while the background of the crest is greyish white. Other nations have better flags, but I like the simplicity of ours. There will be no question of who or what they face.
The Sociocrathy, for example, chose a curly pattern as the background of their flag. In the foreground are the four symbols which represent the four ruling families. It's very similar to the Alliance's crest, which is a representation of all the various races who chose to join the club.
The fairy queen flies closer and bows. “We are almost done with the wards and the safety precautions. Is there anything else we can do for you?”
Smiling, I shake my head. “No, thanks. That's all for now. You can return to your hive, once you are done. Oh, and make sure that Willow doesn't overdo it. I noticed that she is overly energetic since she gets to spend more time with other fairies.” The little fairy nods and flies away with incredible speed, taking care of her business.
The fairies turned out to be invaluable assistants. Their nature as magical creatures makes them naturals at chanting wards and enchantments. They are a little expensive to maintain, but they are also worth the expenses.
Their new hive is located on Illum and allows them access to the whole island. They insisted on casting it from gold, as only gold is worth the effort of being enchanted with fairy magic. I even had to give them access to the energy of a whole power core in order to sustain the entire hive. I am not really sure what they are doing with all that power, but Willow assured me that it's necessary to create more fairies. Apparently, they want to regain their former population of at least two thousand individuals, as anything less can't be called a proper hive.
It reminded me that the fairies might be the most inhumane race on this world. I really don't want to know how the bees and the flowers work for them, so I didn't ask. As close as they behave to actual bees, I wouldn't be surprised if they lay eggs and hatch hundreds of larvas at once. That must be a nightmare for the poor babysitters.
Janice interrupts my train of thought. “Do you intend to pick up more strange personnel? Maybe a few orks?”
“No. I think that the fairies are enough for now. Picking up several hundred humans would be a strain on Illum's food supply. The fairies were a good opportunity. They don't eat much as long as they stay small and are masters of spacial magic, so they can take care of their own needs. The only thing they really demand is energy, but I have that in abundance.” I wrinkle my nose. “I would never take in a bunch of smelly orks.”
Janice clears her throat. “They aren't really that smelly. The orks of this world are quite educated. Their moral values are higher than the ones of most of the other countries. At least they were until the Sociocrathy drove them into Westfall's desert and pillaged their cities.”
“I see. In a book, I read that the Mirai and the orks were allies.” I look at Janice. “Is that true?”
She uses a hand to indicate that the matter is a little more complicated than the history books might imply. “We shared the northern coast with them. They preferred the steep cliffs at the shore and the grasslands. We stuck to the forests and the beaches. It was a quiet sharing without actual agreements or an alliance. In the beginning, the Sociocrathy was smart enough to wage their war only on the Mirai. They left the orcs alone.”
Janice huffs. “Of course, the orks didn't lift a finger as long as the Sociocrathy didn't threaten them. Their leaders refused to recognize that their belief in multiple deities would make them the next target of the Sociocrathy. By the point at which the orks realized that, we Mirai had already prepared to flee over the ocean. At that time, our military force wasn't mentionable anymore.”
“Couldn't you have raised more zombies?” I ask.
She tilts her head. “Raising more mindless zombies is good and well, but they stand no chance against an organized army. The creation of a Draugr or a lich takes a lot of time and effort. Time which we didn't have. The Sociocrathy's attack was well planned. They built up their forces until they were sure that they can take our standing army in a reasonable amount of time. Which means that they didn’t give us the chance to turn the tide.”
My grandmother hums. “Maybe the orks wouldn't have been driven from their cities so easily, had the Mirai stood and fought to the last man.” She shrugs. “But I am not responsible for the fate of the greenskins. They should have picked up their weapons as soon as it was clear that the Sociocrathy was bent on forcefully spreading their religion.”
We talk for another hour while the event takes shape around us. It seems like Janice is of the opinion that the Sociocrathy wouldn’t be any better than the Empire, given the chance. I already met with their fanatics, the paladins, so I have to admit that she might be right.
Like so many others, we prepared areas which would serve as entertainment or possible meeting spots for our potential guests. The most obvious ones are things like free space for dancing and music. There is also a lot of food.
What's a unique feature of Illum's area, are the expositions which show off unique things about Illum and my various enterprises. Most importantly of them all, the spacial chests. But there are also other things. Little things which are supposed to kick-start even more economical change. I see this as an opportunity to show everyone that Illum isn't to be messed with.
There are gadgets which allow mundane people to cast a light orb by themselves. Rings which boost their owner's power. The list is endless, since I was very busy during the last months.
I want to advertise the fact that Illum is a source of knowledge and enchanted artefacts. I grin upon noticing the plain area which advertises our academy. My two young pupils are in charge of bewitching random visitors with their childish delight in learning magic. The two of them made a lot of progress in the recent months, so I decided to allow them to show off their powers.
They can't share any world-changing knowledge, but it might be just enough for some people to question the traditional way of using magic. Once they realize the power of properly organized enchantments, instead of ritualistic magic, they will want to have that knowledge for themselves. Additionally, I have some of my new books on display. They are supposed to give anyone who is interested a few insights into the more complicated areas of enchantments.
The only person who I am missing now is Zane. “Where is Zane? Didn't I order him to accompany me on this fair?” I touch the shoulder with the tattoo and call up the map. “Hm. It says that he is hiding in the toilets.”
Janice scratches her cheek. “I still feel a little embarrassed about the fact that it never occurred to me to introduce modern plumbing. Magic allows any magicians to deal with such issues, just by casting a few small spells. But a vast amount of people don't have that luxury in this world.”
“I had to live for eighty years without magic and without modern toilets.” It was hell!