- This page is about the book Teckla. For the House of the Teckla, see Teckla. For the animal, see Teckla (animal).
- See also Meta:Teckla (book).
Vlad contemplates what to do with the 65,000 Imperials he has just received for killing Mellar, and is approached by Bajinok with an offer of "work". Not needing the money, Vlad declines—which should have been the end of it.
Instead, a knock on the door reveals to Vlad that Cawti has become involved with a group of social dissidents in South Adrilankha. It appears one of their number—the Easterner Franz—has been murdered. Vlad, resentful that Cawti did not tell him about her involvement with this group, grudgingly agrees to try to find out who killed Franz and why.
Very quickly, Vlad discovers that Franz was killed by Yerekim at the orders of the Jhereg boss in charge of South Adrilankha, a Dragaeran named Herth. Franz was killed as a warning to Kelly, who had been interfering with Herth's business operations in the Easterner's Quarter. Learning this information brings the ire of Herth down upon Vlad, first by having Bajinok threaten and then torture Vlad, and then by sending an assassin to kill Vlad.
Seeking more information, Vlad goes to meet Kelly and the other members of his group. Vlad is bitterly sarcastic and resentful to the idealistic Easterners, who he sees as sacrificing individuals (including his wife) to their unrealistic ideals. Kelly, in turn, rebukes Vlad as a heartless criminal who kills for profit—all the more hurtful to Vlad, since he knows that it is very close to the truth.
Learning of this conversation, Cawti resents Vlad's interference, and the two end up not speaking to one another. Despite this, Vlad fears for Cawti's safety. He begins shadowing her movements, hoping both to draw out his potential assassin, and also to keep her safe.
As the activities of Kelly's Organization become more aggressive, the Phoenix Guard are called in to deal with the disturbances. This gives Vlad's assassin the chance to strike. Vlad is prepared, and survives the attack, but is unable to deal with the assassin (a Jhereg named Quaysh) due to the presence of the Phoenix Guard.
Determined to put an end to the threats to Cawti, Vlad decides to murder the leaders of the revolutionaries, starting with Kelly himself. He is stopped only moments from completing this plan after an encounter with the ghost of Franz makes him reconsider his motives.
Finally coming to terms with the fact that he and Cawti have no easy way to reconcile their differences, Vlad arranges a set-up where he can take out Herth and Quaysh in one shot.
Much to his amazement, Vlad succeeds in killing Quaysh (with the help of the assassin Ishtvan, who was working for him), and has a chance to kill Herth. Kelly, however, convinces Vlad to stay his hand, and Herth is allowed to survive, after delivering a promise to call off the war with Vlad. Vlad explains the situation to the leader of the assembled Phoenix Guard, Lord Khaavren, which diffuses the situation.
Not sure how long this peace will last, Vlad decides to simply buy Herth out, and uses 50,000 of his recently earned Imperials to purchase all of the Jhereg business interests in South Adrilankha.
While this settles some questions, it raises plenty more, and despite Vlad's best efforts, he and Cawti have come to a rift in their relationship that they may not be able to heal.
Role of the House
As an Easterner, Vlad comes to sympathize with the Teckla, his fellow victims of oppression. His survival also depends, at times, upon complete capitulation to his foes.
- Paresh tells his tale
- Vlad Meets Franz's ghost
- Noish-pa vs the Phoenix Guard
- Fighting Quaysh in the street
- Killing Bajinok
(all copyrights Steven Brust, quotes for review and enjoyment only)
"I don't like him, boss," said Loiosh.
"He's an Easterner; he ought to have a beard."
"I don't need advice on my marriage from a Verra-be-damned... no, I suppose I do, don't I? All right. What would you do?"
"Ummm... I'd tell her if I had two teckla I'd give her one."
Vlad tells Gregory why he's looking for Kelly
"I plan to leave all my worldly wealth to the biggest idiot I can find and I wanted to interview him and see if he qualified. But now that I've met you, I can see there's no point in looking further."
"You will note that you are still alive."
"This is really weird."
"No it's isn't. It's normal. Everything is normal. It's just that some normal things are weirder than other normal things."
"Oh. That explains it then."
A meeting of protagonists:
I walked through the Guards until I found their commander. "Lord Khaavren?" I said.
He looked at me and his face tightened. He nodded once.
I said, "There will be no trouble. It was a mistake. These Easterners are going to leave now. I just want to tell you that."
He stared at me for a moment, then looked away as if I were so much carrion.
Vlad goes shopping:
"We still have a lot to work out."
I thought about my latest purchase and chuckled. "You don't know the half of it."
She said, "Hmm?"
I said, "I've just bought South Adrilankha."