There are a couple other characters that I will briefly talk about that appear in the series. They’re the sort that, in the context of the story, their history borders on legend.

Who are they? Before I start, I feel like a broken record mentioning this yet again, but if you haven’t read the first book, I may reveal details that bear on the story and could be considered ‘spoilers.’ I can’t say I’ve exhaustively investigated whether it was best to share the details I have regarding the story thus far (possibly making it easy to figure out the story. Or worse, make you think you did), so once again, you are reading this at your own risk.

If you would like more of an intro to the series, you can look here, here, here, and here as some good starting points. Now for the spoilers.

The Maelstrom

Since this character could be considered largely the reason for some of the things happening to Richard in the first book, he is surprisingly absent for all of it. But, he does finally make an appearance:

“It is three days before their first flight,” adds a deep, resonant, and ominous voice.

The Maelstrom

The Maelstrom, which I did briefly allude to last year here is a being that appears at crucial moments in time. Even in critical locations in those moments. Like the ship that Richard travels on.

The Maelstrom can also move them to key periods of time which is something the Maestrom points out:

“We thought we were supposed to make our own way back to our time,” Richard comments as they step through the door of his office. He sits down behind his desk.

The being hovers in front of the desk. “It is thinking like this that leads to problems,” the being remarks. “The Maelstrom didn’t say specifically that we would return. That is true. However, you should have understood that it was the Maelstrom who brought you here, not any phenomenon you have associated with it.”

Richard and the Maelstrom

There is a reason for this, though. As you’ll read in the book, the Maelstrom has some very specific limitations, most notably:

Richard shakes his head. “But I do not understand why you cannot prevent this war! You said yourself you would preserve our peace.”
 
The Maelstrom shakes his head. “The peace you agreed upon did not include those who now seek a conflict with you. For us to establish peace, they too must agree to the Maelstrom’s mediation… And I can personally assure you, these do not want peace.”

The limits of their influence can seem arbitrary, and they probably are. But, if you have a code of conduct by which you live your life, what may be to you a reasonable limit to place for yourself, could also seem like an arbitrary limit to others.

If you’re looking to understand why, you’ll have to see when the book comes out, since it goes into more detail regarding some of their actions. And over the series, you’ll better understand why they do what they do.

The Mercenary Guild

As a bonus, I’m including a little bit about some additional characters in the series. The Mercenary Guild are actually referenced throughout these books, both directly and indirectly. Why is that? Maybe Richard can help us out:

“They are an entire race whose sole purpose in existing is being the finest offensive military force that could be employed in a conflict. They are conditioned from birth to be the perfect fighter with every type of weapon and in any method of combat imaginable.
 
“In the civil wars on my world, the tide of the war would change, based on who was paying the Mercenary Guild more. Their strikes were recorded as being lethal and nearly 100 percent effective. Most notably, casualties among members of the Guild in battle is unheard of. They study their enemies attack patterns and review similar situations from history in formulating their strategies.” He pauses. “We have been fortunate they have rarely been known to be in conflicts, even in the last few centuries.”

Richard

So, are they in the next book too? You’ll have to read and find out for yourself.

Next week, let’s see what my schedule has for us to talk ab-great… Yeah, it’s me again. Till then.


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