Prince Iainen had united the apoc and the symph, as he felt was his birthright. The apoc were to be the warriors, the tip of the spear, with which to bring order and prosperity to the Vale and all the woods beyond. The symph were to bolster their numbers and to work as the logistical tail of this army: as porters, farmers, teamsters. But the next generation of apoc needed living hosts, and Iainen was loathe to sacrifice any of his people for the purpose. He was also dismissive of the use of non-sapient hosts like the onii, feeling it would breed weaker warriors.

Iainen was also afraid of the coming of the 37-year laulu, which was not far off. When they emerged, moulted, and saw what he had wrought in the Vale, he was sure that the junior brood would oppose him by force of arms. And when, just a few years later, the 41-year senior brood arose, they would finish the job–the two cycles were not always synchronized, but at this time, they very nearly were.

The solution that presented itself was as brutal as it was simple. Iainen gathered eggs from the apoc that followed him and inserted them into the young laulu as they slept underground. The empathic powers of the apoc were enough to locate the shallowly buried junior brood, and long bamboo tubes were sufficient to deposit the young. By wiping out the junior brood, and using the troops thus raised to defeat their brothers, who were buried so deep as to be undetectable, Iainen had felled two onii with one stone.

But the plan had to be perfect. If even a single laulu from the junior brood survived, they could attempt to awaken the senior brood early, and that would provide a force sufficient to challenge the new order of the apoc. Iainen himself accompanied his people, seeing to the dirty deed personally.

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