Year 1 Month 4
The three boats eased neatly through the reef and into the quiet bay beyond. They drew up into the shallow waters and the men hopped into the water and guided the boats to shore. The boats were dragged onto the beach and the men scanned the white sand and treeline.
“Okay, you all know the drill, pair up and fan out. Report if you see anything and we will meet back here to unload later. Jarod and I will check out the village remains and see what's still standing.” Anders looked over to Jarod and headed off to a old trail leading off the beach.
The teams did a search of the area closest to the village. They found no signs of any villagers. This was another island brought down by the sickness and the endless raids that had begun in the area.
The crew gathered back on the beach and unloaded the boats. They set up camp in the old village, the central hut was still standing, if in need of repair. The team cook and his helper started to prepare . Wood was gathered by several people and dumped next to the cooking area. A fire stack was built. As it was piled together one of the other men passing through the camp paused and stepped to the fire. He reached out a hand and the wood started to burn. The assistant grinned his thanks and built up the fire. Lunch was fish stew fresh fruit.
Afterwards the dozen men lazed in the shelter of the hut and drank from their canteens. A few bottles were passed around.
Anders spoke again. “How is everyone feeling? Anyone too tired or can we set things up now rather than this evening?”
“I'm good sir. I'll do it.” offered Tim. He had a slight smile.
“Of course you are good, you get to sleep through it all.” joked Gavin. “But I'm feeling good too. I can do it now, and I won't even pull too much energy from Tim, even though he deserves it.” Tim just laughed and kept eating his stew.
The men all agreed they could work that evening. Anders nodded and opened up his pack. “I know why, you want fresh bread for breakfast. They all laughed.
Setting up for a working was a team effort. They selected a location for the Trading Hall and swept a patch of ground clean. Anders and Gavin worked on setting up the Octagon and the candles. Once everything was complete the humans in the group arranged themselves in a line near the area and set up bedrolls.
Anders handed his Wards Major Cubes to Gavin. “You feel ready to set these up?” Gavin grinned and nodded. He ran through the ritual carefully and confidently and soon had the area warded.
All told they had five Deryni and five humans for the Portal construction, a solid number to reduce the risk and share the enormous energy load.
Anders kept himself out of the circle. He remained outside the warded area and patrolled the camp. The remaining human did the same thing at the other end of the camp.
There was a flash of light from warded group and Anders knew the Portal was built. The Wards were dropped and a tired Gavin smiled at him. The humans were all still in an energy depleted trance, and would remain so for hours. The Deryni were alert but exhausted.
“Nice job gentlemen. Shift the wards so we can keep using the portal and I will see you all in the morning.” he said. The wards were shifted to one side and all the casters were protected for the night.
Anders stepped onto the Portal and felt it throb under his feet, new and powerful, if somewhat wild and untamed. Regular use would settle it down. He learned the signature of the Portal and let it sink into his bones. Then he balanced the energies as he had done so many times before and called up the Portal for the supply base. A shift of energy and he was elsewhere.
The supply base was a hive of activity, even in the heat of the tropical afternoon. When Anders appeared a guard looked up at him and gave a smile and nod. The wards on the Portal dropped and Anders stepped out into the Trading Hall. “All set. What's the news?”
“Not much Sir. We figured you would open it early, so we have stuff ready to go. We have some guards and workers ready to go through. They'll shift material through all afternoon and all through the night, and then when daylight hits they will start setting up. The other workers are sleeping right now, but will be ready for dawn as well.”
“Thanks, learn the Portal and then pass it on will you? I want to go find Michael and ask him about the other island.” Anders reached out and the two Deryni clasped hands. A moment of shield adjusting and a quick rapport and the signal for the new Portal was given to the guard. The guard stepped away and then headed out of the hut to find the other carrier Deryni to pass the signature along.
The new portal had workers shuttled through. They set to building a new hut, kitchen and marking out the walls of the Trading Hall. Other workers headed to the salt ponds the island was famous for. They worked to restore what had fallen into disrepair, and started harvesting some of the salt that was there.
The next day had more workers arriving and the island humming with activity. Several huts and cottages were built, and the infrastructure for a village brought in. The forest was hacked back and gardens marked out. Animal pens built and stocked. A coop had been built on the main island and was carried in piece buy piece and lashed together. In a few days everything was built and the workers moved back to he mainland. The settlers for the island had moved in and the salt ponds were already producing salt for the markets of Camberland, and, more importantly. the Native islands. A few natives moved in with them and showed them the traditional methods for living o the island. Camberland had expanded to take another island.