---Disclaimer---

Ranma 1/2 and all its associated characters and locations are used without permission and belong to their respective copyright holders. Anything else (Teh Sthlhu, The Four Empires, Typhon Sidhe, Leannan Sidhe, Ceoeff, Merac, Hiwt, etc.) is owned by me. So there! ^_^

---Title---

Wanderings: Chapter Two
(Rewrite of The Wandering Saotome)
A Ranma 1/2 Altaverse
By Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton
(Skaiton@netscape.net)

---

"...And out of Darkness came Light;
A warrior of might midst the plight;
'Round his head was a crown
Made of purest gold,
And polished like mirror-glass.
(Or so I've been told)
He rode on a ship high in the sky,
And there was no wave he could not ply,
Onward he rushed to his Doom.

The Enemy did turn
And cowered like a worm
As the King returned to the place of his birth.
For through Death and hardship he'd proved
His honor,
And courage,
And worth.

High in the hills,
And low in the seas
Did their battle rage on
'Till all their strength had been gutted and gone.
Out of the sea he did rise,
Sun on his shoulders,
And Stars in his eyes.
He had dispelled the gloom."
- From the 'Warrior' manuscript

---Mountain of Fire, Teh Sthlhu---

"This agreement of yours, Lord Sidhe, surely you must be joking." Seumethpro, King of Fire Mountain, lounged in his throne at the Lord Typhon and his entourage. To think that he had allowed the Warlord that close to him and his seat of operations, what was he, insane? The Warlord was notorious for feigning peace only as an excuse to draw close enough to draw blood. The Harpy King felt his abdominal muscles tense involuntarily.

"It is no joke, my dear Lord Seumethpro. My Lord Typhon has undergone a slight...change...that has brought about this reconciliation. He wishes to extend to you, the Harpy Nation (1), a hand of peace so that the Lan-Drian forces do not overrun your lands." Chamberlain Choiler spoke from the raised audience platform. Behind him stood the dread lord himself, silent and enigmatic.

"And what assurances do I receive that this is not all a ruse? A ploy to divert my attention and allow 'Lord Typhon' leave to overtake my people?" Seumethpro was no fool, Sidhe had used a similar tactic when he overthrew the Beast-men of Gargarotha, and nothing remained of that nation save the ruined Caverns of Pain in the western mountains. "Tell me what Typhon will give me if I acquiesce?"

Choiler, a normal man with the braised gold skin of the Desert Kingdom of Neir, turned to his lord and they conferred for several moments as the Harpy King clicked his talons on the gold armrest in irritation. If Typhon was going to attack, would he just get on with it? The waiting was eating away at his composure and patience. Still, as he looked upon the Fey Lord, there was something odd about his appearance, almost as if he had mystically grown younger. It was patently ridiculous, it could have been a simple glamour, but something around the eyes screamed wrong. No, it was all in his imagination. Lord Typhon Sidhe still retained all the evidence of his identity, the bracer, earring, and necklace.

"The Lord Sidhe offers you twenty of his children to train and maintain your armies. They are all masters of Warcraft and will follow my master's will if it be in your defense."

"I see..." Seumethpro scratched the stubble of his chin-feathers as he thought about the grand ramifications of such an offer. True, Typhon had many children, close to a thousand around the world if the rumors were to be believed, but if Seumethpro were to _marry_ a daughter...well, Typhon would be forced to aid him. The bonds forged by blood were always stronger than flimsy and combustible paper, after all. "And will these children be male and female? His sons and daughters?"

"Yes. My Lord Ranma will deliver unto your Mountain the eldest twenty, half sons, half daughters, within the night if you will agree to the Peace accord." Ah yes, Typhon had announced his first name scant weeks ago, perhaps in anticipation of these peace talks. It was perfectly acceptable to reinvent one's-self before changing one's political policy. Doubt hovered over the brow of the feathered harpy, doubt for the future of his people under the assault of Lan-Dria, and doubt of Typhon's good word. In the end, as he sat upon his throne, Seumethpro found he had no choice at all.

"Very well, Lord Chamberlain, bring forth the accord." The tall man of sleek black hair and darkened skin took the sheets of pure paper from an adjacent clerk and affixed them to boards of enchanted leather that assured both parties that the document would not rot, wither, or burn to dispel their agreement. Choiler carried the boards up the steep steps to Seumethpro's throne and knelt so that the Harpy King could affix his seal. With the burn of the King's ring the peace accord was ratified and accepted. Scampering back down he knelt likewise for his lord and Typhon pressed his index finger to the sheets of parchment.

It was no surprise that when he received his copy, the King of Fire Mountain found the Eye of Sidhe neatly embedded in the fibers. There was no indentation of stamp nor elevation to denote ink. He smiled slightly at Sidhe's obscene show of power before handing the accord to his chamberlain for processing.

"I will expect the agreed number tonight." No sooner had the feathered king opened his mouth then he spied a smug smile upon Sidhe's lips and knew he had been duped.

"I believe I will make an amendment to the agreement, King Seumethpro." The guards lining the audience chamber tensed and drew their swords. They had already been nervous of these outsiders but Typhon's outright audacity to change a signed document was enough for them to draw. If the Crimson Warlord was afraid of the harpy swordsmen he gave no sign. "Why not accept fifteen daughters and five sons?"

"What do you mean? What is the meaning of this breach in contract?" Seumethpro was up and flying down to dais. "Explain yourself, Typhon."

"It is quite simple, Lord of Fire Mountain." Ranma Sidhe stepped out from behind Choiler and stood toe-to-toe with the blistering Harpy. "Your women do not breed well, do they? No, I thought not. Take fifteen of my daughters then and increase your own strength, five of my sons will be enough to train an army of tens of thousands! Take the commodity you need from what I have no use for and further cement our bonds of loyalty. Of Friendship." Ranma's face betrayed no emotion as he held out his right hand to Seumethpro.

The King glanced warily at the proffered hand. "Friendship?"

"Friendship." Ranma Typhon Sidhe was gratified when the feathered talons of the King encircled his hand and shook it purposefully. At once the guards stood down. The two rulers shared a small smile.

---En route to Sidhe castle---

"That went well, lover." Ranma felt his 'wife's' hand in his head, groping around for the details of his recent victory. "I cannot say that I agree with your decision to use your children as bartering pawns but I cannot find fault in your actions."

He was sitting in a sleek hovercraft given to him by the Emperor Maximillian Xiang of Teh Sthlhu after explaining the current situation of his mind and the plans to make amends. (2) As the ship rushed atop the long grass on the boarders of his realm he could not help but reflect upon the changes in the people since his 'reappearance'.

It could be considered a philosophical question, what would the people do if, oppressed as they were, their oppressor suddenly freed their shackles and destroyed their yoke? Would they rebel and overthrow him for their years of servitude and slavery? Possible, considering that Typhon Sidhe had ruled the amalgam of lands in his keeping with an iron fist for the past hundred years (give or take). Instead of rebellion would there be an even greater devotion to he who freed them? Unlikely due to the deep-seated hatred of generations but unlikely and improbably things were always happening around Ranma.

So it happened that the people experienced a burst of pro-Sidhe sentiment in the wake of his announcement of their freedom. The military was strengthened in morale as he began personally training the soldiers in the basics of Anything-Goes (a vestige of his previous life), and the people were thoroughly devoted to him especially after the floods Lan-Dria forced upon them the first week of his reign. Ranma still felt odd and uncomfortable walking and talking in his new body as his mind still had not finished the physical assimilation but these were easily traded with the burst of power the fey had bestowed upon him.

He had powers that were beyond his understanding yet all were under his unconscious control. His Lady, the beautiful Leannan, was working with him on mastering the myriad spells and weaves that comprised the bulk of his magical power, but she hinted subtly at a deeper power underneath. Still, against the euphoria of the change he remained awkward in his movements if only in his mind and practiced such simple things and walking and running in the hopes of eventually overcoming such handicaps.

"Are you asleep?"

"No." He mentally responded through their bond. "I was merely thinking."

"I hope you were thinking of ravishing me when you return to the castle because that is what I eagerly await." Her sultry drawl was even more passionate and sensual through their link as she sent emotions and impulses that triggered various parts of his mind.

"I'm sorry, my Lady, but I am not ready for that yet...just give me more time." Choiler was sitting across from the King in the enclosed canopy of the swiftly-moving vehicle and wondered just what Ranma was whispering.

"I have given you five weeks, Ranma. Surely you have felt my attraction through our bond?"

"I have, although I am not prepared to act upon those feelings."

"Why?"

"I have no idea what to do." He rested the back of his head against the seat and stared up at the quickly moving clouds hanging over the land. Imagine going through puberty in the span of three seconds, growing from a twelve-year old with no concept of the sensual to a man whose lusts were very much a part of his body. Never underestimate the power of the body over the mind, it is often an exaggerated point that the mind alters the body, those who enforce that dogma never met Ranma Sidhe.

"I believe your education in that area is wanting, my Lord. Allow me to instruct you when you return, perhaps I may explain over your evening repast?"

Ranma found himself speaking the words of Typhon's mind rather than the words he himself spoke. "I believe that is acceptable. I will be at the castle before nightfall." It was frightening to speak a phrase like 'okay, I guess so' and have it twisted by the tongue and lips into 'I agree in mind and body'. The whole interplay between he and the Harpy King back at the Mountain of Fire terrified him because he had no control over the mouth or voice as it spilled out. It was rather like being a passenger on a train that was fully automated going to a destination of your choice. He had no control over the speed or ride nor the horn but it was carrying him where he needed to go; according to Leannan those feelings would pass in a few more weeks as his mind absorbed more of what was Typhon Sidhe and acclimatized itself to the sensations.

---The next morning---

Ranma awoke to the sound of rustling bedclothes and the sighing yawn of Leannan as she stood from their bed wrapped in a deep purple robe. The past night had certainly been educational to say the least, with Ranma's prowess in marital affairs following the precedent set by his earlier abilities. He had found that as soon as a motion or action that Typhon had any experience in was begun the body would begin moving automatically. This was useful in such things as sword fighting where the knowledge bubbled up in his mind as soon as the blade was placed in his hands. The fact that the information opened in his mind like a book was advantageous for him, no sooner had Ranma begun 'reading' through the sword-fighting abilities and memories then he was adapting them for Anything-Goes and improving their each and defense. The original Typhon Sidhe was many things but an innovator was not among them.

So it had occurred that as they began his lesson in her chambers last night, Typhon's mind had opened into a veritable sea of positions, techniques, methods, and movements. Typhon was well-known throughout the world for his sensual abilities which explained the proliferation of his children around the world, and indeed any woman would consider herself blessed to catch his eye. From that profound base of pleasuring techniques, Ranma, being the innovator and refiner that he was, sought to improve upon the original Sidhe's 'style' with explosive results. It was rather funny, however, that Ranma had compiled his list of modifications and in scant minutes after dinner was putting them to the test upon his very eager, _very_ willing subject. (3)

He awoke quickly and opened his eyes immediately upon full realization that it was indeed morning. It was a welcome change for the displaced soul to not have to struggle with sleep any longer and waste time rising as it had on Earth but his behavior could also be traced to sleeping a full night and not pushing himself to exhaustion each day. He sat up mechanically and reached for the black silk robe he knew awaited him on the post of the bed by his head. Doffing the thin material he walked over to the bathroom that faced his side of the mattress and relieved himself, thankful that the facilities of Sidhe castle were much in line with those of modern Japan and China. In the deep recesses of Typhon's mind he remembered paying the Technology Guild a King's ransom for the installation of such facilities in the castle.

A word should be said of Sidhe Castle itself as its unique infrastructure and location prove integral to the tale of Ranma Typhon Sidhe.

Sidhe castle was constructed several thousand years ago atop the smoldering chasm of an inactive volcano. The volcano had been inactive for a hundred years before construction began so a dense, if not large, forest had sprung up at its base. A path was cut through the Slyvinia wood and a paved road set down to the base of the mountain so that when it was finished, the castle's flying bridge would be anchored to the ground of the path.

After the preparations for construction and design were completed an entire face of the mountain was carved out and the castle built into the volcanic rock itself. As the magma and pressure increased their heat and gas was used to power the structure and therefore was allowed to vent naturally. The palace sat atop the boiling shaft that lead down to the molten core of the world and thus was a perfect energy collector for Typhon to use for refueling purposes. The palace had extensive tunnels and caverns built into the opposing side where his fleet of assault ships and transports were stored and refueled, ready at a moment's notice to launch and attack. A veritable fortress of rock, metal, and glass, the castle itself grew over the years until its fa