The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 6: The Eternal Age of Unity)

3 Realms 6-9

Dawn rose on a new day for the Galdredan Lava Kingdom. Elmar and Calandra yawned as they woke up. They put on bathrobes and shuffled off to the dining room for breakfast. Calandra got a cup of coffee as Elmar got his tea. Bacon and eggs were set in front of them, and they ate in a groggy fashion. “Did you sleep well, Your Majesty?” asked the head maid.

“We slept all right,” mumbled Calandra. “Though the sabotage and death of last week didn’t help matters.”

“Still thinking about what those horrid men did?” asked the head maid.

“We’re having vivid nightmares,” replied Elmar. The head butler then came in with a letter in his hands.

“Excuse me, Your Majesties,” he said, “but I believe this letter is of great importance to you.” Calandra opened the letter, and her eyes and smile became wider as she read it.

“Elmar, look!” she called. Elmar looked at the letter, then grinned when he finished reading it.

“We definitely could do with news like that!” he declared.

“Did you read it yet?” Calandra asked the head butler.

“It was addressed to you, Your Majesty,” he replied. “I’m not in the habit of reading mail that does not have my name to it.”

“Go ahead and read this.” Calandra handed the letter to the head butler and maid. They read the letter and grinned.

“Shall I arrange for the Town Crier to make the announcement?” asked the head maid.

“I’d rather tell the Town Crier myself,” replied Calandra.

“Very good, Your Majesty,” said the head maid.

Arsha and her lovers walked around Castle Town. “Malnar, we’ve been walking around aimlessly!” complained Arsha. “Where’s your surprise?!”

“It should be here any minute now,” replied Malnar patiently. Just then, a Kitsune man dressed in the wildest of outfits came up on his horse, ringing his bell.

“The Town Crier?” muttered Gorfanth.


“You’ve gotta have a voice like a Troll’s to continue that for so long,” muttered Malnar. Her lovers then hugged.

“So that’s the surprise?!” asked Arsha as she beamed at Malnar. “There’s a coronation date?!”

“There’s a coronation date!” replied Malnar. “Now, I’m allowed to invite who I want to see me rise to the throne. So, you five are cordially invited to witness my coronation as Queen of the Under-realm!”

“We’d be honored, Your High…Your Majesty,” replied Lardeth.

“Princess, please, save that for after I’m crowned Queen.”

“Well, we’re gonna have to practice that,” remarked Foresna.

“Why?” asked Gorfanth. “I mean, we’re all getting married once Arsha and Lardeth are crowned.”

“Yeah, but the public needs to get used to it,” answered Foresna.

“Not until I’m crowned!” insisted Malnar. “Until Erbee 50, I’m still a Princess. I’d like to be that until the crown’s on my head.” Foresna decided to drop it. He wasn’t eager to test Malnar. Arsha then remembered something and looked pained.

“I still have reconstruction assignments!” she said. Her lovers then recalled how damaged the Under-realm was, as it was Dr. Borg’s preferred Realm for her empire’s main base of operations.

“Maybe it’s fixed enough that you can be spared a day or two,” muttered Falnii.

“I doubt it,” replied Arsha.

“I’ll need to talk to Daddy and Rokalla,” said Malnar. “They’re the ones in charge of Under-realm Reconstruction right now. They’ll be the best bet for seeing if you can see my rise to the throne.”

As it happened, Orbak and Rokalla were being given a tour of the Galdredan Lava Kingdom to examine the progress and if a full Realmfleet presence was still needed. Rokalla had his legs and eye replaced with cybernetic prosthesis and was using crutches until he could master his new legs. As such, Orbak’s chair was pushed around by their guide, an Elf man. “So, that’s the last kingdom,” mused Orbak.

“It looks like Reconstruction’s coming along better than anticipated,” replied Rokalla.

“Enough to remove a Realmfleet presence from the Under-realm?” asked the guide.

“…Probably a fraction needs to stay,” answered Orbak.

“One eighth, I’d say,” guessed Rokalla. Just then, Malnar and Arsha approached them.

“Ah! There they are! My Heir and her fellow Conquering Hero!” greeted Orbak.

“Hello, Daddy!” replied Malnar as she bent down and hugged him. Orbak then sensed something, fatherly worry taking over.

“Malnar,” he asked as he broke off the embrace, “is something wrong?” Malnar struggled to find the right words.

“Er…Daddy, there’s…um…” she finally sighed. “I want all my lovers to see my ascension.”

“…Is that all that’s on your mind?” Orbak asked only to make sure.

“Yes.” Orbak smiled.

“For a minute, I thought it was something hard.”

“Your father and I,” explained Rokalla, “were just talking about that. We’re gonna leave an eighth of the ships here in the Under-realm, but not all ships need to leave at once. Once the coronation is over, Arsha, you’re needed at the Drelda forest to help repair the Capital Tree. Until then, please, enjoy yourself when Malnar becomes Queen.”

“Then, I can stay?” asked Arsha as hope filled her and Malnar’s eyes.

“Of course!” confirmed Orbak. “We don’t want to separate you and Malnar so soon!”

“Thank you, you two! You have no idea how much that was weighing on us!”

“Then there’s something I need to ask you and Arsha,” said Malnar.

“Ask me? What is it?” quizzed Arsha.

“Is it all right if I bum a ride to the Belsnath Citadel from you?”

“I’m all right with it if Orbak is.”

Of course, I am!” assured Orbak. “Just meet me in the throne room when you get there, all right?”

“Sure thing, Daddy!” promised Malnar.

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 6: The Eternal Age of Unity)

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Much like Galya, the public couldn’t believe that the accident that took her father’s life WAS just an accident, not after the sabotage. The media lapped the story up, practically reveling in the fact that someone had died. But, in one of life’s little ironies, the media sensationalism was what ended the ordeal. After her dad’s funeral, Galya walked the streets alone, giving herself time to think. She deliberately didn’t look at the headlines and kept herself deaf to the news broadcasts. As she was concentrating on giving her attention only to the walk home, a hushed whisper entered her ears. “Didn’t you see today’s paper?!” hissed a man. “There’s no way they’ll believe we didn’t cause that!”

“That will change with time, won’t it, Mr. Tuurk?” asked another man.

“Indeed, Mr. Talair,” agreed a third man. “We simply need to lay low for a while.” Galya’s ears twitched as she recognized those names AND the voices. She hid below the window of the warehouse the men’s voices came from.

“I can’t believe this!” hissed the first man. “I wanted revenge against Mechanicas and the public’s out for blood!”

“We’ll get revenge, we promise,” said the second man.

“Once the machines accept their place,” continued the third man, “productivity can return to its original status and violence against machines will stop.” Galya took her hat off and set it and her cane down near the building. She then looked through the windows to see a disheveled Tuurk and Talair talking to an Elf she remembered seeing during the Mechanica Trial. She couldn’t remember the name, but his face could be recognized over the comms.

“All right, but we need to change locations,” urged the Elf. “We can’t risk being spotted.”

“Too late for that,” thought Galya. She retrieved her hat and cane and tore down the street to the nearest public comms. She found the crystal ball sitting there unused and chanted for the operator. A human woman appeared.

“Grand Under-comms,” greeted the woman. “How can I help you?”

“Ma’am, I need you to call the Endeavor,” explained Galya. “Security Clearance Omega Nine Seven Tango, Galya Gronsar.”

“That high a priority, hm?” asked the woman. “All right, connecting now.” Galya had to wait a few minutes. “…Arsha’s taking the call in her ready room. Your call will be monitored for security purposes.”

“Fine,” said Galya. The woman’s face was replaced with Arsha.

“Dame Gronsar!” she greeted. “What can I do for you?”

“I have a lead on the sabotage case!”

“Tuurk and Talair?!” yelped Calandra once Arsha told her, Elmar, and Furnaf of what Galya overheard.

“And the Elf she described was Transhell Ulndrar,” replied Arsha, “a former Engineer aboard the Endeavor.”

“He left us while we were celebrating our victory in the Mechanica Rights Trial,” explained Elmar. “We haven’t heard about him since then.”

“Do you have any images of those three?” Furnaf asked Arsha.

“As a matter of fact, yes,” confirmed Arsha. “You need them for the wanted posters?”

“It would help the public watch out for them.”

“I’ll have the pictures sent over right away.”

“Thank you, Captain.”

“Arsha, you’re still pulling off miracles,” praised Elmar. “I’m glad that didn’t change with my leaving.”

“Just fighting for justice as usual,” replied Arsha.

Not long after their wanted posters were spread all over the kingdom, Transhell, Tuurk, and Talair were found and arrested for sabotage. During the trial, very disturbing details were revealed about what happened after their original losses. For Transhell, after he left the Endeavor in protest of Endea gaining equal rights, he went back not to his wife, but to his mistress. He had an affair with a Succubus and his Elf wife found out, divorcing him. The Succubus, initially thinking that he was unmarried, left him alone. Last he heard, both women had a stable relationship with each other, their other twelve wives, and their husband on the Morgonthor Trenches Minimum Railway, one of the Underwater Railways in operation and boasting Mechanicas of their own. Transhell blamed Mechanicas for his downfall and wanted revenge.

Tuurk and Talair, the former heads of the Realmfleet Financial Board, also had a beef with Endea. They were trying to get rid of her in the month before the last Under-union Festival, but Realmfleet, in anticipation of the Final War breaking out, shot down their goals as they needed all in-service ships to be overhauled. After begrudgingly setting aside the funds needed for Endea’s overhaul and repairs, they asked Gorfanth’s brother Tornoth for assistance, since they learned he didn’t like Realmfleet as he thought they were taking his delivery jobs. After Tornoth was caught, he was bait for a trap set by Realmfleet to arrest Tuurk and Talair. The results of the trial sentenced the two men to life in prison and their wives divorced them on the spot. Like Transhell, they blamed Mechanicas for their downfall and wanted revenge.

The three eventually met when Tuurk and Talair were released from prison on the condition that they would fight for Realmfleet in the Final War. They took orders from the Ship-type Mechanica Captain of the Steamwind, Steawin. They all hated having to take orders from a machine but couldn’t say anything as they liked their freedom too much. They really hated how Steawin endlessly talked about his future with his lover, Endea. They decided that any area where the ship was would suffer their wrath.

The three devised plans for each kingdom that had Mechanicas and waited until the Final War was over to enact them. They learned where the Endeavor was docked and set about enacting their Galdredan Rail Plan. Having worked as a signalman in his youth, Tuurk would be the one to sabotage the points. Talair was the best when it came to casting the invisibility spell, especially over multiple people, and Transhell was very important in infiltration operations during the Final War, so his mastery of the camera scattering spell was most welcome. Talair and Transhell were most useful in procuring the mana barrel from the refinery and Tuurk knew where to puncture the barrel to have it spill all over the tracks.

Once they were caught and found guilty, the trio were sent to Realmfleet Max, boasting tighter security and greater countermeasures against a breakout after Remsu led the one that freed Reb and Melgem. Arsha sat in her quarters alone after the whole debacle. She was glad that the fiasco was over but saddened that someone lost their life before the Eternal Age of Unity really got going. …There was also something in the back of her mind that made her sad. She looked at the duty roster and made the necessary assignments for the ship and the area. She then heard the door chime. “Come in,” she called. Malnar and Gorfanth entered the room.

“Hey, Foxy,” said Malnar. Arsha stood up and hugged Malnar and Gorfanth, confusing the two.

“…Not that I mind, but wha-?” asked Gorfanth.

“When I leave the Under-realm, you two won’t be with me,” mumbled Arsha. The two Under-realmers then understood.

“Arsha, we’ll see each other again,” soothed Malnar.

“Do we even know when you’ll be crowned Queen?” asked Arsha.

“The announcement’s coming tomorrow.” Malnar ended the embrace. “Now, all the rulers of the Under-realm are needed, but you guys are certainly invited. I wouldn’t want you to miss it.” Arsha smiled. It was both a sad one and a happy one.

The Three Realms The Three Realms Cast


Knighted for her service to Railways during the Final War, Dame Galya Gronsar is the 10,093 business-orc that runs the Galdredan Standard Railway as Controller. Initially against Mechanica rights, she changed her tune when Mechanicas that are well-treated turn a profit. She now considers her engines as part of her family. Her wives (Gremla, Nurfath, and Neeka) and their Parlor Maid Harem have become the richest Orc family in the Realms thanks to her business acumen. Sadly, thanks to the Final War and a fatal railway accident, she and her cousin Bulshnak are the only survivors of the family. However, she’s got friends in high and low places, so she has a support network ready to help her at a moment’s notice.

The Three Realms The Three Realms Cast


Constructed 4,097 years ago and gaining Mechanica status during the Final War, Officer Furnaf is enjoying the peace he spent the first years of his sentient life fighting for. He’s an officer of the Galdredan Standard Division of the Under-realm Branch of the Railway Investigations Agency and is one of the best officers of the organization. Upholding the law with his sister, Durgu, his investigations always get whatever criminal is guilty of a crime. He’s married to three Rail-type Mechanica ladies, (Tranfii the Tram, Lurdan the Narrow Standard Tank, and Eldram the Maximum Tender) and a Rail-type Mechanica man (Rutur the Minimum Tank).

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 6: The Eternal Age of Unity)

3 Realms 6-7

The rescue operation went smoothly for everyone. An investigation of the accident yielded similar results to the one Lushar suffered, tampered points and scrambled security cameras. The Controller of the Narrow Standard Railway immediately ordered the points ripped up and replaced with a single set of rails. Drufath’s repairs also went smoothly. This led the RIA and the local police to issue a warning to all engines and railway staff to keep their eyes open for any suspicious activity near the trackside. Points were randomly checked and the authorities conducted sweeps of the line. All Realmfleet ships in the area would be searched as well. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, the engines, and Realmfleet’s, it wouldn’t be enough to catch the saboteur…at least, not until later.

It was early one morning a week later when it happened. Thanks to the lateness of the year, various industries across the southern continent shut down, except the fish industry. Being a volcanic land mass, the natural heat that bubbles from the lava rivers and volcanoes kept the ice from fully forming near the ports. At the harbor near Rootan Station, the workmen were taking full advantage of this. A large shipment of fish had come in. Most would be delivered by rail while the Galdredan Reliable Road Services took care of the rest. Tornoth Steelhorn and his partner, Bulshnak, had just hooked up their horseless carriage to the wagons. They were the go-to drivers for this job because they had such an excellent record when it came to the deliveries of fish. Sadly, that would change with this run. The workmen gave the Minotaur/Orc team the all-clear. “Right, off we go!” said Tornoth. The carriage then moved out of the station, and they got up to speed at once. They went up a road that would eventually lead to a railway crossing. The gates were flashing yellow lights.

“That’s a caution sign if I ever saw it,” muttered Bulshnak. Just then, the lights turned green. “Then again,” chuckled Bulshnak.

“Away we go!” cheered Tornoth. I’m sorry to say that the lights were supposed to turn red. The carriage had made it over the tracks, but the wagons didn’t clear them, thus a goods train slammed into them and pulled the carriage along before derailing from the debris of the wagons. Tornoth and Bulshnak were tossed out of the carriage, their heads hitting the ground hard and causing them to pass out and bleed from the head.

It was the next day when they woke up in the hospital. Their vision was blurry at first and all sound was muffled. Both aspects soon cleared up and they saw Arsha, Gorfanth, Malnar, Calandra, and Galya standing there. “C…Cousin?” mumbled Bulshnak.

“I’m here, Bulshnak,” assured Galya.

“My head!” groaned Tornoth.

“Easy, Tornoth,” soothed Gorfanth in a brotherly tone. “You just suffered a nasty accident.”

“Acci…that’s right, the train!”

“Tornoth, I know this is a stupid question,” said Arsha, “but are you two all right?”

“We’ve been better, your Highness. I personally ache all over and I’m confused as crap! What was a train doing going down the line? That wasn’t the fish train!”

“No, it was an express goods train that needed to get to the shipyards. It suffered a delay and needed to make up for lost time.”

“What was it doing coming at us?” asked Bulshnak. “The gate arms were up, and the crossing lights were green.”

“I think it’s a safe bet the saboteur did this,” replied Calandra. Her face became grim, “Only now, they’ve graduated to murder!”

“Murder?” asked Tornoth. A nasty thought then struck him. “Was there someone near the-?!”

“No, no one was near the line,” assured Galya, although her assurance was tempered by grief. Bulshnak then got an even nastier thought.

“Someone on the engine’s crew?” he asked. Galya drew in a breath.

“…It was a non-Mechanica engine,” she finally revealed. “Number 57646. My father’s engine. He and his usual fireman were on it. The crash embedded a piece of debris right into their heads, killing them.”

“…Uncle Lutak! NO!” wailed Bulshnak as tears welled up in his eyes.

“Dame Gronsar, I promise you, we had no inten-!” began Tornoth. Galya raised a hand and stopped him.

“Mr. Steelhorn, I don’t hold you, Bulshnak, or your company responsible! No one does and no one will. Our contempt is for the monster behind this catastrophe! So, please, give me some peace of mind, you two, and don’t blame yourselves.”

“Rest assured,” Calandra promised the two injured men and railway controller, “no pains will be spared to catch the villain! You have my word! Arsha and I will head back to the crossing to find out what they did!”

“I’m coming with you!” declared Galya. “I want answers on what happened.”

“What do you mean ‘nothing’?!” Galya demanded Officer Furnaf as his investigation was wrapped up.

“With all due respect, Ma’am,” he replied, “I don’t know how much clearer I can be. This wasn’t sabotage.”

“Are you absolutely sure?!” asked Calandra.

“Positive, Your Majesty. My team went over everything with a fine-toothed comb. There was just enough ice and snow that forced the gate’s weights down. There’s really nothing criminal here. It was just extremely bad luck that caused an accident where two men lost their lives.”

“That’s the understatement of the age!” remarked Arsha. “I don’t know if that makes the situation better or worse.”

“I don’t know how many people will accept this,” replied Calandra.

“Well, I’m one of those that doesn’t!” hissed Galya. “An accident following two connected acts of sabotage? There’s no way that’s plausible! Are we even sure the ice wasn’t magically formed?”

“I’m afraid we are,” replied Furnaf. Galya slammed her hand on the crossing gate in frustration and growled.

“Hey, don’t take it out on him!” said Arsha. “We’re just as frustrated!” Galya drew in very deep breaths to try and steady herself.

“If you’ll excuse me,” she finally hissed, “I need to make funeral arrangements.” She headed off to her horseless carriage and drove off.

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Arsha, Malak, Dalengor, Bashoon and a Standard Gauge tender engine Mechanica man of the RIA, Officer Furnaf, had learned that the mana barrel came from the western harbor in Grefnak. The rails there were Narrow Standard Gauge, so they had to wait for the engine who collected the barrels and the Standard engine who delivered the mana shipment. The Narrow Standard engine was a Mechanica tender engine woman, and the Standard engine was a non-Mechanica tender engine, so they had to interview its crew. The driver was an Incubus, and the firewoman was a Zephyr/Orc Blender. “All right,” said Arsha to the Standard engine’s crew, “we want you to run through the events as they happened when you delivered that shipment.”

“It was two days ago,” replied the driver as his tail and wings stayed still. “Around 26:30 when we arrived. It took about an hour for the workers to fully unload the train.”

“It usually takes half that time,” supplied the firewoman, “but we had to wait for Ms. Farna,” she pointed to the Narrow Standard engine, “as she had suffered a delay.”

“Let’s just say,” explained Farna, “if I had my way, it wouldn’t be ‘birdbrain’, it’d be ‘sheep-brain’!”

“After we unloaded our train onto hers,” continued the firewoman, “we had to rush for the dairy near Castle Town in the north.”

“And you were the one who collected those barrels, Ms. Farna?” asked Officer Furnaf.

“Yes, Officer,” confirmed Farna.

“Did anything unusual happen that day, aside from your sheep mishap?” asked Bashoon. “Like a fight? An accident? Anything else like that?”

“No, Ma’am,” replied Farna. “The sheep were my only problem that day.”

“Did any of you see someone lingering around here?” asked Dalengor. “Someone who didn’t belong?”

“No,” said the Standard driver.

“No one,” supplied the Standard firewoman.

“Sorry, but no,” reported Farna.

“Nothing,” said Farna’s fireman. Her driver, being a mute man, shook his head in the negative.

“The manifest says,” remarked Malak, “you delivered those barrels to the mana refinery north of the harbor, Farna. Did anything happen up there?” Farna and her crew replied that they didn’t see anything. Officer Furnaf stroked his chin.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t be more helpful, everyone,” sighed the Standard firewoman.

“You can’t tell us what you don’t know,” assured Furnaf. “Farna, will you be heading to the refinery at any point today?”

“Yes,” answered Farna. “This train of spare parts is headed there.”

“Perfect!” cheered Dalengor. “Malak, Bashoon, the RIA constables, and I will be needed there! May we hitch a ride?”

“Of course! Anything to end this craziness!”

“That’s what we’re trained to do,” replied Furnaf. Dalengor, Malak, Bashoon, and the RIA constables entered the brake-van, the workers confirmed that the train was secured and ready, the Conductor blew his whistle and waved his flag, Farna whistled her reply, and the train set off.

Farna got to the mana refinery a few minutes ahead of schedule. One of her colleagues, a Mechanica tender engine man named Drufath, stood at the platform with his coaches, ready for his express run. He and his crew saw the Realmfleeters and RIA officers leave the brake-van. “Hey! Farna!” called Drufath’s driver, a male Stone Elf. “Why are the cops on your train?”

“Perhaps she’s decided to turn you in, Rudal,” joked Drufath.

“Oh, shut it!” Drufath laughed a bit, then dropped his joking demeanor and spoke to Farna.

“In all seriousness, why IS the RIA on your train? And Realmfleeters, by the look of it.”

“It’s because of the accident Lushar had near Dropath,” explained Farna. “Turns out one of the mana barrels I delivered here two days ago was used to make it happen.”

“That’s…most alarming.”

“Tell me about it. Do you and your crew know anything that could help?”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t.”

“Nor do I,” said Rudal.

“Me neither,” replied Drufath’s fireman, a Free Golem named Fregna. “A rare thing indeed that I should be ignorant about something.”

“That’s probably for the best, Fregna,” remarked Drufath.


“Because if either of you had an idea that led to an arrest, we’d never hear the end of it!” Drufath and Farna laughed. Fregna stepped outside and looked at the brake-pipe in the coaches.

“Oh dear,” he called. “There’s a hole in the pipe. Better get the shoe-string!”

“NO!” shouted Drufath as he went red in the face. “ABSOLUTELY NOT! YOU PRO-! …Oh, I hate you!” Fregna and Rudal were laughing at their engine’s outburst. Fregna went back to the cab. “Honestly, I get no rest and no respect from you two!” The Conductor blew his whistle and waved his flag once he finished checking the coaches. Drufath whistled his readiness and the train set off. “Off we go!” called Drufath as the train picked up speed.

Further down the line, someone invisible stepped out of the bushes near a set of points. They hammered the points to another direction, then disappeared back into the bushes. The line the points were turned to was a dead-end that stopped at a set of old buffers. It was supposed to lead to a branch line, but the project never came to fruition as the people there simply took their carriages. Because of the dead-end, the points never needed changing unless absolutely necessary, therefore whistling for the points to change was not a usual sound for the signalman. Drufath continued on his journey at his usual speed, not knowing what happened to the points. When he realized he was on the wrong line, it was too late. He went too fast for the buffers to safely stop him, so they vanished under him, causing him to go down a small hill and into a barn. The barn walls damaged his buffer beam but didn’t slow him down. It was a massive pile of dirt that stopped him. There Drufath stood, dazed and confused with a damaged front. He put that aside. “Rudal! Fregna! Are you all right?!” he called.

“We’re fine!” assured Rudal. “Fregna’s checking on the passengers now! What about you?!”

“You know the Rail-type Mechanica phrase ‘bust my buffers’?”


“I think I have. My front ones, to be exact.” Fregna then came up to them with the farmer, a female Passion Dragon.

“None of the passengers are hurt, just shaken up,” said Fregna.

“And my livestock’s okay too,” said the farmer. “I’m stunned.”

“So, I’m the only one who suffered any damage,” muttered Drufath. “I have to say that’s incredibly lucky-!” He and his crew’s eyes shot open and looked down at his front. He had a lamp on his left lamp iron, but it was missing. “…No.”

“I mean, it could have been!” gulped Fregna.

“Now that’s just silly!” retorted Rudal.

“Excuse me, Mister!” called a Frostik boy as he and his parents came running up to them with a railway lamp in his hands. “Is this yours?” he asked Rudal. Rudal took the lamp and looked at the back. The writing on it once indicated that it was built by the Lunark Trackside Lamp Company, but time took away all the letters except five so that it spelled “Lucky”!

“It is!” laughed Rudal. He thanked the little boy and showed Drufath the lamp. Drufath laughed in amazement.

“The Lucky Lamp saves us all!” he cheered. He then kissed the front of the lamp, rubbed it, then patted the lamps top five times. “Thank you,” he said to the lamp.

“That lamp,” explained Fregna to the Frostik Family, “is the Lucky Lamp, a travelling Railway good-luck charm. Anytime there’s an accident on a railway, but no one dies or suffers serious injuries, the Lamp always makes sure it’s there BEFORE the accident takes place to minimize the damage.”

“And it’s been all across the Realms,” continued Drufath, “making sure serious accidents are minimized. Railway workers and the industries we support have an online site that keeps track of where and when it pops, trying to find a pattern. And you have to properly thank it for its help.”

“To do that, you gotta kiss the Lamp’s front, rub the front, pat its top five times, then you say, ‘Thank you’,” explained Rudal.

“Well, it was a good-luck charm for my farm,” said the farmer as she pointed to the barn. “I’ve got a big supply of wood and nails to help patch the barn up and my animals ain’t hurt, so I don’t need anything from you guys except answers on why you went to that dead-end.”

“And hopefully, the officers of the RIA,” declared Drufath as he gritted his teeth and looked up at the line, “can help provide them for us all!”

The Three Realms The Three Realms World Building

Realm Railway Gauges

Like us, the Realms have their railways and have different gauges for different types of jobs, tourism being chief among them. There are fifteen gauges throughout the Realms, and each has their own name. Just to clarify for those that may not know, a railway’s gauge is the distance between the two rails of a railway track.

  1. 15.25 Zarruks (Minimum)
  2. 24 Zarruks (Cirrus)
  3. 24.4 Zarruks (Pebble)
  4. 1.2 Smargs (Narrow Standard, used in Mountain Railways)
  5. 1.4 Smargs (Mine)
  6. 1.6 Smargs (Ballast)
  7. 1.7 Smargs (Light)
  8. 1.9 Smargs (Harbor)
  9. 2.2 Smargs (Medium)
  10. 2.3 Smargs (Standard, also used in Mountain Railways)
  11. 2.4 Smargs (Iron)
  12. 2.5 Smargs (Boulder)
  13. 2.6 Smargs (Heavy)
  14. 2.7 Smargs (Kingdom)
  15. 3 Smargs (Maximum)

Lushar, pictured above, is a Standard Gauge engine.

The Three Realms The Three Realms Cast


Built 2,004 years ago in the engine workshops of the Under-realm’s Galdredan Lava Kingdom for its railway, Lushar became a Rail-type Mechanica two months after the Mechanica Trial near the end of the previous Age of Unity. Like her brother Dreshel and her sister Murmath, Lushar’s a shunter and goods engine. She works at the Drapnar Quarry arranging stone trains and bringing them across the railway. She’s married to Sandu, the Ship-type Mechanica extension of the Sand Dune. She’s a bit cheeky, a bit vain when it comes to her paint and clothes, and has a great work ethic.

(I’ve been wanting to draw a Rail-type Mechanica since I first wrote about them in the second book. She’s inspired by a few of my favorite engines from the Thomas the Tank Engine franchise. She’s got Thomas’ cheekiness, James’ vanity, and Duck’s work ethic.)

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 6: The Eternal Age of Unity)

3 Realms 6-5

Over the next few days, everyone got to work getting the Galdredan Railway fixed. Now that no one had to worry about bombs whizzing overhead, trains could run as normal and fix things. There were quite a few craters that severed the rail lines. As rail traffic was the major source of goods, repairs to the railway were given top priority. Dame Galya Gronsar, the Orc Controller of the Galdredan Railway, was very succinct in what was needed for repairs. She once thought her Mechanica engines wouldn’t be the most efficient, but after the Mechanica Trial’s results and after seeing them in action, she was never happier to be wrong. One of her engines, a Mechanica woman named Lushar, was marshaling freight cars in the quarry she was inspecting. Once Lushar had a break, Galya came up to talk to her. “There she is!” she praised. “The model of efficiency herself!”

“Dame Gronsar, hello!” replied Lushar. “How are things?”

“They’re looking up. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that we’re repairing things so quickly. I had though repairs would take the better part of the month, but it looks like things are going to be done in half that time! The ballast trains have been practically flying out of here like clockwork and they’re lining up perfectly with railway tie production!”

“What about the actual rails themselves?”

“That’s the only slow part. Smelting down metal’s a rather involved process and, given that we lost good engines and staff in the War, it’s taken a lot of wind out of people’s sails.” Lushar lowered her head.

“At least those engines that lost their lives were scrapped respectfully.” Galya nodded in agreement.

“And speaking of engine numbers, I’ve noticed that you’re the only engine here. Have you really been clearing out the quarry on your own?”

“Yes, Ma’am, but I won’t turn my nose up at help.”

“That’s good to hear. I’ll be transferring Rushak here to help you before the day’s out.”

“An excellent decision, Ma’am! I know it’ll make him happy to work in the quarry again!”

“I just have to admit, I’m astounded you went this far on your own. Don’t you get tired, even just a little bit?”

“Honestly, I found a way to do this all day.” Galya arched an eyebrow.

“Really? How?”

“Gumption and commitment, Ma’am.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it,” confirmed Lushar. “That’s all an engine needs to have a long, fulfilling career.”

“You’re an inspiration to everyone with that attitude,” praised Galya. “I have to say, though, there are those on the Board of Directors that are sorely lacking in that regard. …Well, I’ve inspected enough of the quarry. I need to head to Dropath Harbor.”

“My next train’s heading there, Ma’am. I can take you there.”

“That sounds perfect! It’ll save me the mana for a teleport spell, and I’ve always enjoyed a good train ride in a brake-van.”

“Let me just pick one up and we’ll be good to go!” Lushar headed off, found a brake-van, attached it to her train, then returned to the front. Galya and the Conductor entered the brake-van, the workers checked the couplings on the train, then gave the Conductor a thumbs-up when everything was good. The Conductor blew his whistle and waved the green flag. Lushar and her crew looked back, then she blew three short blasts from her whistle to indicate she was ready as well. Steam then entered her pistons and made her wheels turn. The train picked up speed and they travelled down the line. The line went through the Southern Continent’s rare green area before leading to the familiar rocky terrain leading to Dropath Harbor in the south.

While the train was moving, someone cloaked in an invisibility spell was at a set of points. The person used a hammer to make the points move so it would switch tracks to a line that led to a set of buffers at the edge of a pond near the signal box. The person then set a barrel of liquid mana near the points and punctured the barrel, letting the liquid mana spill onto the tracks. They heard two short whistle blasts and dashed into the bushes nearby. Lushar rounded the bend and saw the spilled mana! “DRIVER! BRAKES!” she called. Her brakes came on hard, but it was too late! She skidded into the spilled mana and was sent down the wrong line. She went so fast that she crashed into the buffers and slithered into the pond. Her head was dunked underwater, so she pulled it out and gasped for air. Once she finished spluttering, she looked at the situation she was in. “…Okay! So…that happened!”

“Lushar!” called Galya’s voice as she ran up to the engine. “Are you all right?!”

“I’m fine, Ma’am. Just wet. You?”

“My end was the least affected.”

“Draynak, Voruth, how about you?”

“We’re okay!” replied her driver, Draynak.

Sweet Ones, what happened?!” asked Galya.

“There was a leaking barrel of mana next to the tracks,” explained Lushar.

“What?!” yelped her fireman, Voruth. “Who’d be dumb enough to put a leaky barrel there?!”

“Probably the same yutz who set the points to this line!”

“I’ll call for help!” declared Galya as she opened her makeup mirror and cast a communications spell on it. “Upend my railway’s operations, will they?! Someone’s gonna answer for this!”

“I hope so!” agreed Lushar. She then sighed. “Bust my buffers, the day started out so well too!”

A male tank engine Mechanica, Rushak, brought cranes, a flatbed, a medical coach, and one of the Mechanica engines of the local Railway Investigations Agency. The cranes put Lushar onto the flatbed as it was discovered that her brakes locked her wheels in one place and flattened out the bottoms, so she had to get new wheels. The RIA engine, an Officer Julnath, inspected the points with his crew. The Signalwoman, a Frostik named Rulja, was quick to give her statement and surrender all her security footage. When the footage showed nothing, Julnath’s crew checked the cameras themselves. What they found was VERY disturbing. They found evidence of a Realmfleet-grade scattering spell, designed to play the same image on a camera as if nothing had happened. It was used a lot during the Final War to confuse the cameras of the Realm Trinity Empire when Realmfleet officers infiltrated their bases. Because of this finding and the fact that it was a spell beyond Rulja’s skillset, Rokalla and the Narvens were informed. Rokalla assigned the Endeavor to assist in finding the saboteur and Arsha handed out assignments to the crew, determined to find out who was the monster behind this and to hopefully prevent lives from being lost so early into the current Age of Unity.

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 6: The Eternal Age of Unity)

3 Realms 6-4

After visiting Rokalla, Arsha made her way back to the Endeavor. She sat in her Ready Room, pondering what was next. She had already seen the Divine Ones address the Realms to read and explain the Final Prophecy. Her door chime then rang. “Come in,” she called. Eltan slithered into the room. “Eltan, what can I do for you?”

“I just got a medical report about us Revenants from Marshii,” explained Eltan. She then thought about something. “…Did you know that she was a brunette once?”

“Marshii? I placed her as a red head myself. Oh well, you said you had something?”

“Yes, Captain. Apparently, only old age can kill us now.”

“What about the mana infusions you need?”

“We don’t need them anymore. Apparently, having Divine Mana woven into the Realms was what we needed to survive and thrive.”

“…What about your future?” Eltan looked off, appearing to think about.

“Don’t know,” she finally answered. “I guess I’ll figure it out along the way.”

“Will it involve Realmfleet?”

“I don’t think so. In fact, that’s what I want to talk to you about, Captain. Effective tomorrow, the Realmfleet Revenants are resigning their commissions.” Arsha was silent for a minute, then smiled.

“If that’s your desire, I won’t stop you. I just want you to know that it was a pleasure serving Realmfleet with you.”

“The honor is all mine.” The two then shook hands.

The day finally came as everyone gathered to send off Elmar and the Realmfleet Revenants. It was a small party, per the guests of honor’s requests. Even Rokalla and Calandra attended once Rokalla got his prosthetics. They were all chatting about some of the goofier incidents that happened in the Final War. Rokalla was regaling everyone with a story. “So, I had this Revenant by the neck and my wand was pressing into her skull. I had Ensakunde at the ready and I was working up a rage.” He then made a face of mock rage and mimed holding someone by the neck and jabbing their head with a wand. “‘Where’s the data crystal?!’ I kept saying. ‘Where’s the data crystal?!’ She finally laughed and pointed to the dead cat. I took a scan of the cat’s body and found the data crystal in its stomach! So, I got rid of the Revenant and Aldarval, that howling hyena, she was no help at all! She just stood there, laughing at me as I had to cut a dead cat open while it was putrefying! The smell was just FOUL! It was like a prank that, no offense, Queen Calandra, Andwayla would have done!” Calandra just had a smile on her face as she thought to something.

“You know, Mother may not have been the brightest of women,” she sighed, “and no offense taken, Admiral, she WOULD pull a prank like that…but I still remember one thing that stuck out when I was a little girl. Back then, I didn’t have a high opinion of Orcs. I thought the whole race to be smelly and arrogant and blood-thirsty.”

“…First I heard of that about you,” muttered Rokalla.

“Well, one day, Mother had an idea to cure me of that and it turned out to be one of her best ideas. On the Orcs’ Day of Reflection, she took me to the Gurnak Chapel.”

“I went there when I was a boy!” remarked Rokalla.

“And just as our carriage stopped…I heard singing. I looked around because I was confused at where the sound came from. Mother had me approach the doors of the chapel and look inside and, well, it wowed me. I saw Orcs singing and their song…was beautiful. I couldn’t make out the words at the time, but it was full of sadness and hope and wonder and…and a terrible…sense of loss. It was only later that I learned that the song was the Hymn of Missed Paradise.” Rokalla could then see where she was going but remained silent. “I looked at Mother and…and saw a tear coming down her face. I said to her, ‘Mother, we should leave. This is upsetting you.’ She told me ‘No, it’s not upsetting me. It’s just one of the most beautiful hymns I’ve ever heard.’ I then asked her ‘How could someone like an Orc sing so well?’ She answered, ‘…It’s because they’re singing for the joy that they feel when they experience the peace we’ve all built together and mourning those that missed seeing it in their lifetimes. Their honored dead can only see what they’ve missed from so far above us in the Heights. Despite what many people think, the Orcs are just as beautiful as the Elves in respects that matter.’ …While rare, that side of Mother existed when she was alive. And that song…I’m willing to bet there are Orcs out there singing that song right now. I’ve never heard the Divine Ones sing, but if they do, I’m willing to bet they would sing with the voice I heard.” Calandra sniffled as she wiped a tear. Elmar placed his hand on her shoulder in reassurance.

“I miss her too,” he said, answering her unspoken question.

“We all do,” agreed Arsha. She raised her glass. “A toast. To friends and family that can only watch us from afar in the Heights with our memories of them still bright.” Everyone raised their glass.

“To my mother, Andwayla Narven,” said Calandra.

“To my old friend, Revak Nurtal,” wished Elmar.

“To my cousin, Tendrak Royana,” toasted Arsha.

“To my brother, Mugath Gransurgh,” said Rokalla.

“To my sister, Mandrii Eltraa,” wished Sheendii.

“To my father, Trumba Meltrek,” toasted Drelta.

“To my mothers, Durvan and Furlii Deltar,” said Entran.

“To my husband, Drebla Ansii,” toasted Blenter.

“To my best friend, Grebnal Grantur,” finished Eltan. They all sipped their drinks. Rokalla then smiled.

“I’d like to make one more toast before this party’s over,” he announced. “Elmar Narven, you have been the best Chief Science Officer in all of Realmfleet. You have paved the way for many a scientific advance and Realmfleet cannot thank you enough. I only hope that you still have opportunities to pursue science now that you’re fully accepting your role as King of the Galdredan Lava Kingdom. Eltan, I wish you and your squad mates a peaceful retirement and the freedom to do as you wish. To King Elmar and the Realmfleet Revenants!”

“To King Elmar and the Realmfleet Revenants!” repeated Arsha and Calandra. They raised their glasses again and sipped once more.