Here's the next chapter and now that i'm home for Easter, i have had to contend with four cats for keyboard access (why is it always the keyboard they sleep on?). Hope you enjoy.
Additional warning: mention of Mpreg (won't actually be in the story)
Alex woke later that morning to the sun streaming through a full length window near to his bed. He sleepily rolled over until he was looking at the canopy of the four poster bed. Alex was still trying to come to grips with the revelation of being a Mediator, especially when he still didn't understand what he was meant to do as a Mediator or know much about the people he worked for. Combined with his wish to continue university and living with his uncle, he was beginning to feel torn, as it seemed like one would have to suffer due to the addition of responsibilities. He shook his head to banish the morose thoughts and decided to leave that train of thought till after he had spoken to Lorc and some other people. Burrowing back under the blue sheets, he initially didn't hear the knocking at the door to the chamber, and only after the faint sound registered in his sleep fogged mind did he respond.
"Come in" Alex sleepily called out from the small den he had made in the sheets. From where he was curled up, Alex had a limited view of the room, which didn't include the door, and therefore he didn't immediately see who entered.
"It's nice to see that you're comfy and all Alex, but unfortunately, you're going to have to get up," Lorc's voice stated from out of sight, causing Alex to groan and burrow even further under the covers.
"Doesn't look like he wants to in a hurry," a female voice chuckled.
"Unfortunately, he doesn't have a choice," Lorc announced as he quickly pulled the covers off Alex, causing Alex to close his eyes from the blinding sun light.
"I'm up," Alex grumbled as he pulled himself up to sit on the edge of the bed facing Lorc, Lady Ezvril and Lord Nyx, all of whom were grinning at his antics.
"Good. We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, especially if you're determined to return to lectures on Monday," Lorc announced as he motioned to a small boy still standing by the door. In the young boy's arms was a set of folded clothes in black.
"I can return home for Monday?" Alex asked dazed.
"I believe that's what you wanted or was I wrong?" Lorc replied with a questioning look.
"No. You're right," Alex quickly replied.
"In that case, change into these," Lorc ordered as he removed the pile of clothes from the boys arms and placed them next to Alex on the bed. "Then, we're taking you to your offices to get you set up and find some people who can help you whenever you're absent. The Council and the Treasury have already given us permission to hire as many people as we need so long as they can do the job. For later on I've arranged for you to meet with the palace's tailor so that you'll have a supply of suitable clothing for whenever you're here." Alex looked between Lady Ezvril and the clothes before he grabbed the pile and headed to the bathroom and slipped in, closing the door to so that he could still hear Lorc as he changed out of the cotton trousers he'd found to sleep in. "We're not actually expecting you to start work as a Mediator straight away and we'll give you till the next time you're here, which I hope will be next weekend. Until then us three and Lady Frya will be teaching you things we think you should know and show you around the palace so that you don't get lost." Alex groaned as he stepped into the black trousers he'd been given at the mere thought of what laid ahead of him for the day, and worse was the lack of sleep he'd had.
"Dare I ask what's in store for tomorrow?" Alex reluctantly queried.
"Tomorrow will be finishing off anything we haven't done before we take you back home. We will have to inform your uncle as to what's been going on and what will be happening in the future as well."
"But he doesn't even know I'm a Sorceror! I've never shown or told him about my magic," Alex exclaimed as he began to panic.
"He will still have to be told. If he doesn't believe what we have to say then we'll just have to prove it to him. Either way, you'll be home early enough that any work you might have to do can be completed," Alex relented as he pulled the black shirt, momentarily remembering the lab report he still had to do. He shrugged on the black long coat with the silver lining on, before he stepped out of the bathroom, only to find Lorc standing just outside of the door holding a pair of black boots which Alex took as he made his way back to the bed.
"Thanks. But how will I know what time I get back home at?" Alex commented. It had been obvious since his arrival that this plane was in a different time zone to his home on the Earth plane and he didn't know exactly what it was.
"You've still got your watch set to the time back to your home. But for future reference, this plane's just over seven hours ahead."
Alex pulled on the boots and thought about the afternoon before and quickly calculated the time of their arrival.
"Doesn't that mean we got here at one in the morning?"
"Yes," Lorc simply replied.
"And what time was it when you left here this morning?"
"Close to half three."
"And the time now?"
"About nine. We gave you a bit more time to rest since you're used to GMT and BST." Alex sighed. That explained why he still felt tired as he had been reading the book till dawn and it was still early, no matter how much Lorc made it out as a gesture of goodwill for letting him sleep for that long.
"This is going to take some getting used to," he murmured as he rose, testing the boots by stamping them on the stone floor before he began to pace beside the bed. Once he was happy that the boots were comfortable enough he nodded to the three who waited near the door.
"You look good in those clothes," Lady Ezvril complimented running an eye up and down Alex's form.
"Thankfully. I don't usually wear just black," Alex replied.
"That is the uniform of Royal Sorcerers. It was the only thing we could get at such short notice," Lorc stated as he began to lead them out of Alex's chambers and into the stone corridors.
"And it's alright for me to wear this uniform?" Alex quizzed.
"First of all you're a sorcerer, and secondly, you are in a position equal to and higher than a Royal Sorcerer,"
"How can I be equal to and higher then a Royal Sorcerer?"
"A Mediator's a wild card in the hierarchy remember,"
"I'm asking too many questions aren't I?" Alex groaned.
"The only way you're going to learn is by asking questions. Everyone will understand and help answer any questions so that you know the information you need to carry out your job, so don't feel too scared to ask questions," Ezvril responded before Lorc could.
"It's the only way you'll learn," Lorc agreed as he led them round a corner and down some stairs.
"And the only way we know what Lorc and the books haven't already taught you," Nyx added from where he followed behind Alex. Lorc opened a large wooden door and led them into the room which was big enough to hold a large conference table with ample of space around it to move and have packed bookshelves lining the walls. Glancing further into the room Alex could see more doorways which each led to smaller offices, holding desks stacked high with paperwork. One of the offices was noticeably larger and the dark wood desk was covered in paper, as was the floor. Lorc however, just simply sat himself at the conference table and waited patiently whilst the others looked around the set of rooms before they followed suit and sat at the table.
"So what did you learn from the book we gave you last night?" Lorc began.
"I managed to cover the history of Atlantis and how it came to be on this plane. By the time I'd finished that section, dawn was already showing on the horizon so I went to bed."
"So we can skip over that bit in the teachings then," Lorc murmured.
"I'm more interested in the Races that were mentioned. I know that my job is to work alongside and with these Races so I'd really like to learn about them as soon as possible. For instance, from what I can work out, as Ambassador's, Lord Nyx and Lady Ezvril each belong to one of the Races but I don't have a clue as to which ones. I know nothing more than the name of the Races." Alex stated.
"First things first, you should know that every member of every Race is capable of a human form. You'd be correct that both I and Ezvril are each from a different Race. Lady Ezvril, along with Lady Frya, are both of the Elvish Race. I, myself, am a Blood Elf." Nyx replied.
"A Blood Elf? They weren't mentioned in the book you gave me,"
"The segregation occurred after we moved to this plane,"
"So what caused the segregation?"
"When the Elves left the city of Atlantis our ancestors settled in the east where they found large forests and plains that we could inhabit. Over the years, the different clans that had existed on Earth reformed. The Clans each had their own way of life and due to depleted numbers, the smaller clans merged till only two were left. The Light Elves, which are generally referred to as Elves, led peaceful lives where they lived in harmony with nature and did everything they could to prevent fighting. This, however, left them susceptible to any act of violence. The Blood Elves were the Clans which believed that knowledge in weaponry and fighting were essential for survival, and after the war with the Humans, the Clans gained more people. Even though we moved to a plane that was peaceful, the Blood Elves are trained from an early age in how to fight and we know serve as protectors and hunters for the Elves. The two Clans coexist together, assisting each other in the ways we can, however we have different leaders and councils. That is why you have both me and Lady Ezvril here as Ambassadors. What one council might agree on, the other might not. For instance, the Blood elves have an alliance with both the Vampires and the Werewolves, whilst the Elves don't, as they believe both of the races are too violent," Nyx clarified.
"Why is Lady Frya here if Lady Ezvril is the Ambassador?"
"Lady Frya is my daughter and I am currently teaching her the job of an Ambassador so she can take over once I retire," Lady Ezvril supplied.
"So we only have two of eight Ambassador's here?"
"The Council has notified all the Races that we have found the Mediator, so the other six Races should be sending their Ambassador's to Atlantis as soon as they can," Lorc assured.
"How soon before they are likely to begin arriving?"
"Since you'll be returning home tomorrow you won't see them until you come back. They'll probably begin arriving during the week depending on whether they have any problems back home,"
"I just have this week to learn as much as I can about all the Races then," Alex sighed.
"I'll be going with you to the Earth plane when you return, along with Lorc, so I can teach you as much as you want about the Elvish race then. That way we only have to concentrate on the other Races for now," Nyx offered.
"Sounds reasonable," Alex agreed.
"Where do you want to begin?" queried Nyx as Lorc rose from the table and headed out of the room as Alex watched in confusion.
"I would say from the beginning but there isn't one. We could start with the Vampires and Werewolves since they feature a lot in stories back home and I'm curious as to how much alike they actually are."
"Alright, I'll start with the Vampires. The Vampires settled in the south where the nights are longer throughout the year, and remain relatively secluded from the other Races. This isn't helped much by the fact that the Vampires only have one Race they would considered themselves friends with, and that is the Blood Elves. Whilst we're their only friends, they do have amicable relations with the Dragons, the Shifters and the Magicians. One thing you should be aware of before the Ambassador's arrive is that Vampires and Werewolves don't get along. Really don't get along. This is however, why a Mediator exists, so hopefully you will be able to get them to not try and kill each other." Alex gaped at Nyx, his mind racing on how he could possibly try and stop and Vampire and a Werewolf from killing each other, let alone getting them to sit in the same room. "The Vampires have a hierarchy that is based on how the Vampire came to be and the bloodline he or she came from. At the top of the Hierarchy are the Purebloods who are direct descendants of the Old Bloodlines. The Oldest Bloodline is the royal family, who are the most powerful since Vampire blood becomes stronger the older it is. Beneath the Purebloods are the Bloodborn, those who are born as Vampires but are not part of the Old Bloodlines. Beneath these and at the bottom of the hierarchy are the Sired, the ones who have been turned into Vampires. They are rare since the Vampires have certain laws pertaining the Siring of a new Vampire. Because Sired are so rare and tend to be more violent than the other Vampires, they are required to be looked after and protected by a chosen family, usually the one who Sired the Vampire." Nyx paused allowing Alex time to take in all the information before he began again. "The Vampires survive by drinking the blood of mortal beings, although time has revealed that they can't easily stomach the blood of other Races except for the Magicians and Humans. They are one of the main travellers to the Earth plane and have so far managed to feed whilst remaining undiscovered by the Humans. The only mention of them at all on your home plane is in stories as the Vampires have perfected their hunting technique and wipe any evidence that could be linked to them once they've fed." Nyx continued. "Vampires have similar generic features such as being slim of body with pale skin and their eyes turn red when they become angry or hungry. If you see a Vampire's eyes turn red, my advice is to get away as fast as you can unless you have a few spells ready. When they aren't hungry or angry, you'll only have to worry about them trying to seduce you, and before you ask, they don't care what gender someone is."
"You said that they removed any evidence or trace of their presence on the Earth plane. How do they do it?"
"Vampires have the ability to manipulate people's minds. They can erase certain memories or can replace them with something different. They can also implant orders into a person's subconscious so that person becomes like their minion who obeys every command, not by choice, but because they have to. They have a few more tricks up their sleeves but it varies from Vampire to Vampire, although the females of the Race tend to be a bit harder to deal with in general so you might want to have even more tricks up your sleeve before you deal with one."
"Scary," Alex muttered. "Do we know what the Ambassador's like?"
"Unfortunately, no. The original Ambassador stepped down after the death of your grandfather and they never nominated another Ambassador to represent themselves in Atlantis."
"I better start preparing a few tricks just in case then," Alex groaned.
"Next that you wanted to know about were Werewolves. The Werewolves moved to the north where there's a mix of forest and mountains over a large expanse of land which was required to house the different packs. The hierarchy of the Werewolves is rather different to normal. There are four types of Werewolves, the Alphas, the Betas, the Deltas and the Omegas. As written in the stories on Earth, the Alphas lead the pack with the Beta's acting as their second in command. The Delta's are the everyday wolves which make up the majority of the pack, and occasionally there are Omega's. Omega's are…different. They are born into their position and cannot change it no matter how much they may try, and I have yet to hear of a female Omega."
"The Omega's are all male?"
"Yes, and that is what makes them special. They are even more submissive in the pack then the Delta's and usually highly protected due to the ability they gain after their eighteenth birthday. During their eighteenth year, the Omega's have to mate with a male member of the pack and within the year they are usually carrying a litter of pups."
"Omega's can get pregnant?" Alex asked in shocked disbelief.
"In this plane, male pregnancies are quite common as three of the Races have a portion of their population who are born designed to carry out the very purpose of having children. It is believed that the Races evolved when a Race's population became drastically low in order to survive."
"This is going to take some time getting used to," Alex commented in mild disbelief.
"You'll be fine for a while. The Races I mentioned are very protective of child bearers so you most likely won't see one until you have to pay a visit to their domains."
"Ok, that's perfectly fine with me for now," Alex sighed in relief.
"Back to the topic of Werewolves. Each pack has those dynamics, and the Alpha's word is law unless it contradicts the Laws that the Alpha King has set in place. The Alpha King and his pack is the oddity in the Werewolf society. The Alpha King gains his position by winning each fight with the other Alpha's of the pack and by asserting his authority over the Alpha King Pack which consists of nothing else but Alpha's and Beta's who have no other pack to go to. Usually these Alpha's and Beta's have been kicked out of their packs because they pose too much of a threat to the current Alpha and Beta. This does however mean that the Alpha King is extremely powerful since they have had to fight their way into the position. The current Alpha King has held his position now since he was twenty, when he won the fight against his father for it. The position of Alpha King has been held by the same family now for the past a hundred and fifty years, and if what I've heard about the eldest son is right, then it will continue to do so. The Alpha King does however do one thing we can once again count on. He sends one of his sons to us as an Ambassador, so we can be relatively prepared for whom to expect."
"Do you personally know who he might send?"
"I know all five of his sons, so yes." Nyx replied as the door to the office opened and Lorc entered carrying a tray full of food, followed by three maids who also carried trays.
"I thought some breakfast wouldn't go amiss," Lorc greeted as he slid he tray he was carrying in front of Alex, who eyed the food hungrily. He was grateful that he recognised all of the food from the porridge to the crusty buns and honey.
"Thanks," Alex said as he dove into the food.
"How's it going with the explanations?" Lorc asked Nyx.
"We've just about covered the basics of Vampires and Werewolves." Nyx replied as he sipped the coffee he'd been handed.
"You only have the Shifter, Dragons, Elves and the Mer left to cover?" Lorc queried.
"I'll teach Alex about Elves at a later date. Learning the basics about five of the Races will be enough for one day. I can see me having to go over it all again later anyway."
"How much are you understanding?" Lorc asked as Alex looked up from his breakfast with his coffee in hand.
"I think I'm understanding most of it since quite a bit of it so far overlaps with what's written in the stories back home," Alex replied.
"That would be because the basis to those stories is based off of the actual Races. Some years ago we had a few people write stories which incorporated the truth. One of the oldest stories is Bram Stokers Dracula, whilst other still popular stories include Tolkien's Lord of the Rings."
"So they were written by people from this plane?"
"Dracula was but Tolkien was a human who was married to an Elf from this plane." Nyx replied for Lorc.
"It's rare but humans can still marry with people from this plane, it's just harder for the human since they have to live on a plane full of magic whilst possessing none themselves," Lorc added.
"That's understandable," Alex agreed.
"Anyway, before we get too off topic and confuse you with information you don't need to know for now, we should continue with the Races," Nyx began. "Since we just covered Werewolves, the next logical Race to explain would be the Shifters. The Shifters settled in the south east between the Vampires and the Elves, where they have a diverse range in habitats. Shifters are usually referred to as being the youngest of the Races, and most of the Shifters remained on the Earth plane when Atlantis was brought here. The Shifters had settled themselves on America where they lived alongside the Native Indians and were worshipped and revered beings. When the Humans came across the ocean and began disrupting the way of life the Native Indians and the Shifters had, they appealed for our assistance and came to live here in peace. Shifters have the ability to transform into their animal form at will but they still retain some of their animal features when they are in human form. The animal form can be anything from a bird to a fox or cat, in depends on the Shifter."
"I assume that's where Kitsune's and Nekojin's come from in the human plane?" Alex questioned.
"It is. The Shifters are often treated like children by the other Races but they are more than capable of looking after themselves and usually they keep to themselves. The Dragons and the Elves are the only two Races that interact with the Shifters a lot and usually only those who wish to be scholars."
"Alright," Alex prompted Nyx to continue.
"Next is the Mer. The Mer have built themselves homes in all the large bodies of water, and permanently have a guard set up in the waters around Atlantis. No one knows exactly why and the Mer won't give us an explanation either, but it's there. To be honest not much is known since the Mer are quite a reclusive Race, only that they are ruled by a King and Queen, and that they are one of the Races that have child bearing males." Nyx stopped in his teaching as he finished his rapidly cooling coffee and took a bite of his honeyed bun. "That leaves us finally with the Dragons. The Dragons are the touchiest of all the Races and have to be dealt with care and caution. Overall the Race is proud, intelligent and majestic, but if they become angered then even running away won't help. Now, the Dragon society is the one that most people from the Earth plane find strangest and hardest to accept. Instead of a noticeable gender separation the Dragons have a different kind of separation, the Dominants and the Submissives. Now on the Earth plane those two terms have a rather bad context attached to them but here, that's not the case. The Dominants are the larger and more aggressive of the Draconian Race and are in the majority by about twice as many Dominants to Submissives. The Dominants do the more demanding jobs and live pretty much like us, however the Submissives of the Race don't so much. The Submissives are highly protected and cared for by the people around them until they reach a suitable age to mate at which point the details we're given become scarce. The next thing we know is that the Submissives appear mated to a Dominant and live under that Dominant's protection and can take up small jobs such as shop work or scholarly duties. Since the Dragon's don't have the normal gender separation, you need to note that the Submissives of the Dragon race are the child bearers, and the Submissives can be either female or male."
"So the Dragons are the third Race that has male child bearers?" Alex wanted to confirm.
"Yes, but the Dragons are very, very protective of their Submissives, mated or not, and you'll only see them if it is believed necessary."
"Alright. So that's the basics of the Races?"
"The very basics, but you'll learn the rest on a need to know basis," Nyx reassured as Lorc nodded in agreement.
"This is going to be fun," Alex retorted sarcastically as he hit his head against the table.