House of Zeor
Plot summarized by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Copyright (c) 2000 by Sime~Gen Inc.
Hugh Valleroy, a Gen, takes a field operative assignment from the Gen government to go into Sime Territory to liberate a Gen woman, Aisha, who is the engraver for the Gen government's currency. She is also his lover. She was taken prisoner by licensed Raiders.
Valleroy accepts the deep cover identity of a member of the House of Zeor, under Klyd Farris, the son of the Sectuib.
Within minutes of meeting Klyd, Valleroy submits to having his field taken down -- a small amount of selyn taken - by Klyd as part of his disguise. Klyd accidentally takes too much too fast and burns Valleroy, and takes him to the Zeor infirmary. While Valleroy's recovering, he reveals his talents as an artist to maintain his cover.
As they set out across Sime Territory to retrieve Aisha, Valleroy learns about Sime junct society, and develops a severe fear/fascination for Klyd. Despite Valleroy's lack of training as a Companion, he is a match for Klyd.
They attend a Choice Auction but Aisha isn't being sold, and they visit nearby Householding Imil where Valleroy's talents as a graphic artist are tested. He's accepted as a Householder rather than an out-Territory Gen. This is a heady experience that marks him deeply. Klyd gathers intelligence data on Andle - a licensed Raider band leader who hates Householders and probably has Aisha.
They start back to Zeor the short way because Klyd will Need Transfer soon. At a rest stop, they wake to find hostile attackers closing in, and they run for their lives taking a long detour off the road.
Through snowstorm, injury, and Klyd's growing Need, they dodge Raiders, and Valleroy learns about Simes, Channels and Householders -- and the Householding Zeor vision of a world without the Kill. He must act as Klyd's Companion -- supporting him through the descent into Need. Klyd's ideals make him seem worthy of the effort.
They capture a Message from a Raider Klyd slays, and discover Andle has Aisha and has given up trying to force her to make currency printing plates for them, so he's reserved her for his own Kill.
Andle's Raider band captures Hugh and Klyd, caging them next to Aisha. The Raiders have a fine time torturing them specifically forcing Klyd into harder Need. Hugh and Klyd teach Aisha how to murder an attacking Sime before she's taken away to be Andle's Kill.
When Aisha dispatches Andle, they all make a break for it, and race for safety.
Klyd, driven beyond endurance, attacks Valleroy for selyn, but Valleroy overcomes his fear and serves Klyd a real transfer.
At the end, Valleroy decides to start a Householding-like group on the Gen side of the border, calling it Householding Rior -- with Aisha as his wife.