Disclaimer: I do not own Dune or Dungeons and Dragons. This is just my interpretation of the events as I see them happening in an Alternate Continuity.
Argylle looked at the tiny metallic object for a while. The young man for his part was looking at Argylle with a curious expression on his face. Argylle suddenly looked up at the younger man and said "Hey you there, where am I? Last thing I remember I was on the Spelljammer Lævateinn, but this looks more like a desert than a ship."
The young man had a confused look on his face as he tried to understand what Argylle had just said. He took a few moments, his brow furrowing as he thought, then he answered him; "I am sorry; I don't know what a spelljammer is. You are on the planet Arrakis, if that helps you any?"
Argylle sputtered a little. He knew roughly what a planet was, it was one of those little orbs that Wizards liked to brag about being able to see in orbit of certain stars and which occasionally shared an orbit with a given prime material world. But for the life of him, he had never heard of a planet called Arrakis. And the younger man had just said that he didn't know what a spelljammer was. How could someone not know what a spelljamming vessel was? It is after all the only sane way to travel between the various cosmoses.
Argylle really wasn't ready to deal with getting back to his world in the way he was going to have to. After all he wasn't a Wizard, Psion, nor Sorcerer, and only they were really qualified to make Spelljamming vessels. So that meant he is stuck on this barren rock. Which if the case he was going to need to make allies from the local people as soon as possible. Argylle looked at the young man and said "I suppose introductions are in order. My name is Argylle Volimas, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. And you two would be?" also indicating both the young man and the young woman whom he had rescued.
Paul couldn't believe what was happening. This man somehow had managed to destroy one of the universes most deadly assassination devices in a matter of seconds after becoming aware of its presence. How was that possible? Then the man asked him a question, he wanted to know where he was, which made a sort of weird sense, the guy did materialize out of thin air so it was plausible that he didn't know where he was. But then he mentioned something about a type of ship that he called a Spelljammer or at least he assumed that was the type of ship. It was equally plausible that Spelljammer was the name of the vessel and that Lævateinn was the type of ship. But Paul was usually right about his first hunches and went with it while saying, "I am sorry; I don't know what a spelljammer is. You are on the planet Arrakis, if that helps you any?"
At his response the man looked at the ground and began pacing the room mumbling to himself. Paul was polite enough not to listen in to what is said, although he probably could have heard every word of it if he had wanted to. After a several minutes of contemplation, the man looked back up at Paul and said "I suppose introductions are in order. My name is Argylle Volimas, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. And you two would be?" indicating both Paul and the Fremen servant whom he had rescued.
Paul started a bit at being addressed on equal terms with a servant, but then again he had treated her equally prior to the Hunter Seeker's appearances in the room. So it isn't all that surprising that someone unfamiliar with the political situation of House Atreides would see anything unusual about the situation. Paul decided that he would introduce himself in as formal a way as possible "I am Paul Atreides of House Atreides, heir to Duke Leito Atreides of the same house, Son of Lady Jessica of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. The girl is one of my families servants…" to which the Fremen girl squeaked and stood up excusing herself.
Argylle for his part looked amused "Didn't know I was addressing nobility. I suppose that thing I destroyed had been sent in an attempt to assassinate you then?" Paul nodded, the thoughts in his mind racing with the possibilities, the Harkonnens probably sent that Hunter-Seeker, but who within the House of Atreides would be the one to deliver it, they were not smart devices as those had been long banned by the Butlerian Jihad via the Orange Catholic Bible. So whoever it was that delivered the tiny device was very likely still within House Atreides "It is very likely that whoever meant to assassinate me is still nearby. Those things cannot work on their own."
That was all the urging that Argylle needed. He placed his large polearm back in the quiver he had drawn it from and instead drew a most curious device that looked like a stringed instrument but instead of playing it as such he drew what appeared to be a mini-spear and placed it along the instrument and started stalking out of the room. Paul followed him but at a bit of a distance.
They walked down the long corridor outside of Paul's room in the Atreides manor house for several minutes not seeing anyone, when suddenly coming out of one of the adjoining rooms the Fremen woman known as the Shadout Mapes happened upon the two of them. She looked at Argylle with a frown, then noticed that Paul was with him and promptly began shouting curses in the Fremen Language.
Argylle, who wasn't versed in the languages of this desert world, looked on in utter fascination, just now noticing that this woman, who actually looked like a Halfling though with shoes on, had the most fascinating blue within blue eyes. He had never seen a color of eyes like that before. Though a Deva has solid blue glowing eyes, the blue within blue texture of this woman's eyes were a bit different from that… "Pardon me mam, but are you by chance an Aasimar?" he asked.
The Shadout Mapes stuttered mid curse at Argylle's question, looked at him long and hard and then asked "What's an Assmar?" to which Argylle's only response was to start laughing uncontrollably. While that was happening she turned to Paul and asked him "Who is this guy? He doesn't look like a member of the Atreides troops…"
Paul for his part was quick enough to have realized that the gentleman calling himself Argylle had not actually said 'assmar' but he wasn't about to tell the Shadout Mapes of her blunder since it apparently gave Argylle such joy. His response to Mapes' question was blunt and to the point "He isn't from the Atreides Military. In fact I don't think he is from any military. He seems to have appeared from thin air in my room and claims to have come from something called a spelljammer, whatever that is."
The Shadout Mapes for her part looked back at Argylle with an appraising eye and then turned back to Paul and said "Young man, you should probably return to your quarters until this matter can be resolved. As for you…" she said indicating Argylle, "Come with me." Both Paul and Argylle nodded. Argylle followed Mapes, while Paul returned to his room, where he proceeded to meditate on what had happened up to now.
The woman led Agylle through several halls. All the while he was glancing around the building appraising its security. He wasn't as gifted at such things as his friend Rondag, but still, he could tell from a glance that this building was horribly ill-suited to survival in a desert. It looked as if it is designed by people who were more at home living on planets with lots of spare amounts of water than you would find in most deserts. He could also tell that the building's security measures were horrible. There were wide open balconies from which you could be targeted and hit by any capable marksman with a bow. The stairwells were wide and open allowing people easy passage up and down. This would mean that an invading force would have little to no problems attacking, and a defending force would have an incredibly difficult time blocking off their advances.
The worst offense however was the great hall where the reagent held court. Upon entering this room, Argylle became appalled. This room, which is supposed to give security and defense for the reagent while also providing a room where he could see his people, was one of the largest fiascos he had seen yet. The room was large, it had this large dining table in the middle, and sitting at one end was the Reagent himself. There were no guards, though that one man standing next to him might count for something given that gigantic instrument that he was carrying. Perhaps it could be used as a makeshift club. But none of these people had obvious weaponry.
Well if that was how they wanted to play it. "So out of curiosity, what would you have all done if my real goal had been to kill your son, instead of save him from a potential assassin? It seems to me that none of you are actually ready to fend off any assassins yourself. No bows and arrows, no swords, no pikes, no GUARDS. Seriously if I had come with any reasonable strike team, I could have taken this building in ten minutes with no trouble whatsoever."
To Argylle's surprise another woman walked into the room as he was speaking and simple said "KnEeL" in a voice that was rather commanding, but Argylle looked at her and shrugged saying "Was that supposed to be some sort of compulsion or spell or something? Because I will tell you, I have seen compulsions and spells that are a lot more impressive than that. And that wouldn't be enough of a compulsion to get a 10-year-old elf to kneel…" The woman for her part was looking at Argylle with what appeared like fear on her face. Apparently where she was from that was indeed supposed to be a very powerful compulsion effect. But Argylle simply wasn't impressed.
The Reagent for his part finally deigned to look up at Argylle and said "Well now, that isn't something you see every day now is it Jessica?" to which the woman nodded and says "I do not know what is more impressive, his knowledge, or his ability to treat The Voice as if it didn't exist." The Reagent however simply smiled and said "To answer your question, the lack of guards in our home is intentional. We only have so many men here on Arrakis. Most of them are working the Spice Mines, the few soldiers still here are patrolling the town, keeping an eye out for the Harkonnens. But that still doesn't answer who you are, how you know our son, or why you think there is an assassin in the Manor?"
Argylle smirked, 'so that was some sort of compulsion. Interesting. Apparently these people think that simply speaking without adding any other components or magical energy was enough to generate some sort of effect. Well serves them right that they were unable to have an impact on me. I of sterner stuff that which simple voice modulation can influence. He also mentioned something called Spice and a group of people called the Harkonnens. I should file those two pieces of information away for future reference', he thought to himself. He then turned his full attention the Reagent saying "My name is Argylle Volimas, I come to this world from what I am now coming to realize is another part of the multiverse separated from your part of it. I was on the Spelljammer H.M.S. Lævateinn while it was journeying through one part of the Multiverse. Suddenly there was an accident onboard and we were shunted into a portion of the Multiverse known only as The Outer Planes. In the Outer Planes the rule of the day is Chaos for Chaos' sake. It is because of the influence of the Outer Planes I am certain, that I was transplanted to Arrakis. Once I arrived I discovered I was in your Son's room, and that I was lying flat on my back. I was informed by your son not to move because there was something called a hunter-seeker in the room, and that it would home in on me if I moved. I however, knowing my own capabilities was able to get up, move up to it, and promptly disable it before it was able to react to my presence. That is how I know there is an assassin in your home."
Leto Atreides listened to the young man calling himself Argylle with some amusement on his face. He called out to the opposite side of the room, behind Argylle, "Thufir, what say you, is what the young man here says possible?"
Argylle spun around, seeing a man standing against the wall next to the door he came from, inside a small recess in the wall so that Argylle had completely failed to notice him when he arrived. Well now, that's interesting. What was with his lips though, they were a startling shade of red.
"Well, truthsaying isn't really what I do. For that you should ask your Lady. But from a strictly logical standpoint, it is likely that there is an assassin among us. As for all that nonsense about spelljamming, I wouldn't even know where to begin analyzing that. As near as I can tell it sounds vaguely like what the Guild does with their Liners while navigating the stars. But that of course assumes that this Spelljamming is dependent on the Spice in some way or on something similar to the spice." Thufir said while watching Argylle with a great deal of intensity.
"And you Jessica, what do you make of the young man's story?" Leto asked his better half.
"Well, as near as I can tell, he is being brutally honest. Everything he has said has the echo of truth to it. But it is such a convoluted truth that I don't know whether to believe it or not. There is no precedence for a man appearing out of thin air like that… wait no I take that back, there are a couple of precedencies, but they are so unbelievably ancient I almost want to discount them out of hand. For example after his alleged death and resurrection, the followers of one Yeshua of Nazareth claimed that he was able to appear in sealed rooms without having been in that room earlier. Other Ancient Earth religions have similar accounts to this, but none of them refer to something called Spelljamming."
"And you Gurney, what do you make of this man's claims?" the Duke said to the man holding the musical instrument. Who for his part simply smiled and said "I don't know about his claims or nothing, but I like'm. He right away knew what was wrong with our defenses, and was able to explain them to us. That alone says he is a Warrior, and I would very much like to see his Arsenal, which based on his words, I have to assume isn't as non-existent as it seems."
Argylle smiled back and said "Nope, shall I show you what I have under door number one?" while picking up the quiver and motioning to the table. The Duke and man named Gruney both inclined their heads and waved him over. To which Argylle proceeded pulling out various odds and ends.
All told, when he finished withdrawing items from the quiver, an arsenal including 1 Composite Longbow, 60 Arrows, 18 Shortspears, 2 Quarterstaves, 2 Longspears, and 1 Halberd were unveiled. "Wow, that's quite the Arsenal. But I don't see any shielding technology. How do you defend yourself from enemy attacks?" Leto asked.
Argylle looked confused at the mention of shielding technology, for his part he simply opened his shirt and revealed the finely woven mesh of Elven Chainmail that he was wearing underneath it. "This serves against most attacks. Why, what's shielding tech… nol… o… gy?"
As he asked that question, another man whose appointment with the Duke was due to start soon, walked into the throne room and said "Shielding Tech is something that will get you killed in the deserts of Arrakis quicker than any of those weapons."
The Duke looked up and said "Ah, Liet, it is good to see you. And forgive me, but why would shields cause one to die so swiftly?" to which the man, Liet, responded "Because they attract the Worms."
Argylle's draw dropped like a stone weight… "Did you just say that you have DRAGONS in this desert?" Jessica laughed and said "No, not dragons, a closer resemblance would be to an earth worm, only these things are absolutely gigantic." Argylle, who had initially been thinking of Wyrms, bobbed his head trying to wrap his mind around what Jessica was saying, "Oh, so like a Frost Worm, only in the desert, instead of the Arctic Tundra?" Jessica hesitated and then nodded.
Argylle thought for a few minutes and then said "Are these things actually animals strictly speaking?" to which Thufir said "As near as I know they are." Argylle smiled and said "Excellent," tucking that bit of trivia away for future exploration.
Liet however was not so enthused about having his appointment interrupted by this young man. He said to the Duke "I came out here so I could have you and the young Paul fitted for your Stillsuits. But since you seem to be busy, I will let you be." The Duke said "No Liet, I think we should do that now, though I would like to add one more person onto the roster as needing a still suit. Liet may I introduce you to someone who recently came into our company. Argylle Volimas." Liet nodded, Argylle for his part asked "What is a Stillsuit?" to which Liet proceeded to explain;
"A Stillsuit is an outfit that covers the majority of your body. The intent is to prevent the loss of water in the desert and to reclaim any water that is necessarily shed by your body. It then recycles that water so that it can be consumed at a later time." Argylle was listening to this explanation with a horrified expression. He responded by saying "Are you telling me, you people live in a desert, and never learned how to get water from the air itself?"
Liet looked shocked like this was some sort of new revelation and said "Well we have dew collectors, but they only give so much water…" Argylle nodded and said "Dew Collectors are all and good, but doesn't this Desert have Cacti, or other plants? What about native animals other than those Worms you mentioned? Where do they get water if not from Dew Collectors?" Liet looked horrified as he was realizing that this young man was coming up with ideas that he had never considered before. He answered the young man saying "Certainly the animals find water in ways that we cannot comprehend." To which Argylle chuckled and said "No, it's not that hard to find water if you really know what you are doing."
Argylle finally resolved that "Well, I guess the Stillsuit has its merits for those times when finding external sources of water may prove difficult. I guess I could sit through a fitting. Shall we then?"
After Paul, Argylle, and Leto were fitted with their stillsuits, and taught the proper way to wear them, which funnily enough Paul managed to do before Liet got to him, Liet offered to take the group on a trip into the desert to see some spice mining.
As they flew Argylle got curious, "So what is this spice stuff? Your man Thufir said something about your version of Spacejamming being reliant upon it?" Paul looked up, confused, everyone knew what the spice was, how could Argylle not know what it was. Leto however seemed more understanding and said "The Geriatric Spice Melange is the main growth crop of the Imperium. It is what allows the Guild's Navigators to traverse the vast distances of Space, as well as what allows the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood to perform its duties of Truth Saying. Unfortunately the only place in the entire Imperium where the Spice is grown is here on Arrakis. As such this planet is an incredibly contested area of Galactic Property. Currently two houses are vying for control of this Planet, my House of Atreides, and our opponents, the Harkonnen. To make matters worse there is a third power on Arrakis, known as the Fremen. They are the natives who live in the untamed Deserts of Arrakis."
Argylle nodded in understanding of the political climate and said "So, really, this spice is nothing more than a drug that your people have somehow turned into its primary source of income?" Leto started and looked back at Argylle suddenly, sending the Thopter veering off course temporarily until he was able to regain his control of the wheel, "Yes, I suppose to an outsider it would seem that way."
At which point they arrived at the factory. Liet was kind enough to point out the functions of one of these Factories. Suddenly Argylle noticed a disturbance a ways off in the sand and said "Whats that?" to the group, at which Liet looked up and shouted "WORM SIGN" there was a flurry of motion and people were shouting over each other, Leto got all the Thopters on the ground and was starting the evacuations of the Factory's crew when Argylle started smiling and ran off towards the Worm, Liet yelled after him, but Argylle couldn't hear him over the noise of both the Factory and the Worm.
Once he was within 35 feet of where he assumed the Worm was, he began casting furiously, it was going to take every bit of concentration his body had, what with all the sand jostling him around at the approach of the Worm. But, his concentration was enough, he promptly shouted out "Puhee Meidrrooinnchacha iraavei Stahichalei eimo Kchoeeidrr Puheeimiedrr eiwa drrmoee Meiiraaveimie" which caused the gigantic Sand Worm to grind to a halt less than 10 feet away from him.
Argylle was ecstatic, his hunch was absolutely right; he was able to use his measely Charm Animal spell to calm the most dangerous creatures on the planet of Arrakis! This meant that he essentially had the best mode of transportation on the planet at his disposal. And if he could find the larval form, he potentially had an animal companion as well. This was going to be absolutely awesome. To the Sandworm he said "You may as well turn around and go back where you came from. The people here won't cause any more trouble for you, I promise."
Once he said that, the Sandworm dove under him, lifting him up on top of the back of the worm, allowing him to ride the wave of the worms back as it turned and left the area and depositing him safely back down on the ground where he was to start with, though in a bit of a crater caused by the worms dive.
Liet watched all this happen with utter horror, how was this young man able to not only calm Shai-Hulud, but compel it to leave without attacking anyone? .Hell? Originally the thought had been that Paul Atreides was the Mahdi, but this new man, with such control over Shai-Hulud was causing an overload of what should and could be possible. Was it possible that there are two Mahdi's?
Argylle walked back to the group and promptly said "We need to finish evacuating these people, and I suggest we stop all Spice Production in this area at least for now. I don't want to go back on a promise to a friend." Paul became flabbergasted, "A friend? You made friends with a Sand Worm? How on earth did you even carry out such a feat?"
Argylle wore a bemused look and said "Simple, I used Magic." Paul looked at him and sputtered. Leto said "Magic?" Liet however was able to articulate his thoughts a bit faster than the others "What are you talking about? There is no such thing as Magic." To which Argylle said "Of course. How do you think I am able to fit 84 rather large objects into a quiver this size? How else would you explain the ability to convince a raging monstrosity as that to leave peacefully? Can any of you do that? Can your Bene Gesserit or Navigators do that?"
Three heads shook simultaneously, all admitting that they had no better explanations other than to admit that magic existed. Paul, with his Mentat training was open to the possibility that what this man was saying was in fact true. But unfortunately it was so far outside the realm of what was normally possible that he couldn't even begin to comprehend it. So he had to acknowledge that at the moment he just didn't have enough information.
As the men went back to the business of loading the Carryall, which had just arrived, Argylle began doing some mental math. He realized that he had essentially just made enough of a leap of experience to put him very close to gaining a new level of power.
A/N: I need to acknowledge that the original Dune characters voices' are not going to be as true to the original works as I would like. This is because I am not nearly as good an author as I would like to be. I am also not trying to religiously replicate the style of speech that is used in the majority of the Dune Novels. Argylle's character sheet can be found here:
myth-weavers com/sheetview php?sheetid=587948
As is the case with Sir Poley's works, URL's in this fan fiction will be presented without the periods; in their place will be spaces. Argylle is a Ranger who specializes in Archery. He may or may not have to find a way to re-train himself due to the inherent disadvantages that Archery happens to have in the Dune Universe (what with Shields existing).
A Halberd is not a Sword. It is a type of Poleaxe. I unfortunately do not have Sandstorm or Book of Vile Darkness so will be unable to take advantage of them at the current time.
I owe you all an apology. I am not the best author, something I am working on, and which I am using this fiction and any others I write as sort of a method to improve my writing. I do not expect it to be an overnight thing, but I seriously hope that I am able to get it to work.
For those of you curious how Argylle was able to do everything he did in the first chapter… He won Initiative, Double Move Action to both stand up and get into melee range. Then because the Hunter Seeker did not have Improved Unarmed Strike, it provoked an Attack of Opportunity from Argylle as it went to make its attack against him. For the purposes of that encounter I treated the Hunter Seeker as if it were an unarmed opponent.
I would also like to point you all in the direction of my new Blog that I am using to keep you up to date on my fanfictions:
dalkonsfanfictiontracker blogspot com