I hate this city!
Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:35 (XFF:

“Wouldn’t this look just splendid on you?” The man didn’t exactly await her word of acquiescence, or anything that she said, for that matter, because he began taking down the reels of silk from their shelves, unwinding glossy lengths and attempting to drape them about her. ‘Attempt’, she said, because even as he parted his mouth to emit a prattle of color shades, quality of the weave, and undertones, Menaihya slapped away a fold of cloth that had fallen past her face and prompted to step out of the circle of silks. “Does it not fall favorable to your tastes, Aes Sedai?” the vendor asked, his tone streaked with genuine regret, “If you would prefer whites, which would not fall sallow on your skin, I have an ample collection. Why, imported straight from Tear…”

“Thank you,” Menaihya said coolly as she rejoined her near-sister by the door, “But we will do without.” Sharing a look with Terrian and receiving a tight nod they commenced to exit the place, but a sharp cry came from the shopkeeper, which stopped them in their tracks and made them turn to look at him.

“Wait!” he said, stumbling forward as if to forcibly stop them. For a moment, that was what it looked like. “Wait, Aes Sedai,” he said with a tepid smile, “I have a special cache in the back. Silks so fine, silks from the Sea Folk, that I never offer them to anyone but patrons as honored as you, Aes Sedai. Not even a fiber. They’re a rare collection, Aes Sedai.”

What was he up to? Yet with another sharing of glances with Terrian, Menaihya nodded to the man. “Bring them forth, then. We will observe them here in good lighting.” The man looked chagrined for a split second, but he bowed and scuffled away behind the counter and through a small door. Personally, Menaihya saw no difference in fine silk and average silk, whatever that was, but she was curious as to what this matter entailed.

“Something’s strange,” Terrian voiced softly, and Menaihya pressed her lips together in agreement. Saidar sprang in her grasp.

“I suppose we will find out,” she said in as quiet a tone even as the halo of the One Power surrounded her near-sister as well. In due time Master Lewin returned into the room, carrying a bundle wrapped in a stray cloth; he placed this upon the counter, and with an almost reverent manner unwrapped it, displaying its contents with pride. Seeing the silk beneath Menaihya let the One Power drain from her, even as Terrian reached out a hand and fingered the fabric.

“Yes, it’s fine. Very fine,” said Master Lewin, pleased, “That perfect sheen, Aes Sedai, you will find in only select places in this side of the Aryth Ocean.” Menaihya allowed herself a closer look. It really didn’t seem so different than his other reels on first glance, but on the second….perhaps he did have a point; it was soft and smooth under her digits, and at repeated intervals were lightly impressed patterns of intricate design.

“It is very nice,” Menaihya agreed after a juncture of time, their close scrutiny all indication that they would purchase a reel or three, and then without warning she turned to Terrian. “Well? Shall we go, then?”

The vendor’s eyes seemed to pop. “But, Aes Sedai—! You….you don’t find my silks pleasing? I have ribbons, then. Ribbons…”

“A good day to you, Master Lewin,” Terrian said, and they stepped outside into the Cairhienin sun again.

“Light, if that is what you call shopping, I do not think I enjoy it a bit,” Menaihya observed as they made their way to Mistress Elyn’s shop once more. Her near-sister was trying to convince her that it wasn’t always that way as they entered the seamstress’s shop, but upon first step they realized that something was wrong. First of all, several mannequins and dresses were strewn about a length of the room, and secondly, Devin came running into Terrian’s arms, ruddy cheeks streaked with tears.

“They—they tried to get at me,” he said in his boyish tenor, “They wanted to take me away!” Puzzled and alarmed, Terrian and Menaihya glanced up as Mistress Elyn strode in from the back. Her face looked harassed.

“You’re back,” she said with a curtsy, promptly crouching down to pick up after her fallen goods.

“What happened here?” Menaihya asked, taking her eyes away from her near-sister attempting to soothe the child and stroking his sandy hair.

“What I understand is,” the woman said as she picked up a handful of silk and shoved it atop a stray chair, “there was some sort of conspiracy, Aes Sedai. Nobles’ game, really. It seems that your entrance into the city, Aes Sedai, was marked. The men at the gates, most like.” She held up a trampled gown of peach-hued satin and sighed. “Some of the nobility had spies planted in town—well, actually, they all do. But they were watching out for you.”

“What do they want from us?” Menaihya asked, brow arched.

“Actually, not you specifically. They wanted the boy.”

“Devin?” Terrian said incredulously.

The seamstress stood, a gown draped over her arm, to face them. “I don’t meddle with Daes Dae’mar business, Aes Sedai. Which is why I didn’t allow the men to take the boy away when they invaded my shop. I called the City Watch to chase them away, but I’m afraid they won’t give up so easily.”

“We thank you,” Menaihya said at last, her tone cautious, “But why would anyone want the child?”

Mistress Elyn seemed to study them with her scrutinizing black eyes, and at last, she must have come to some sort of conclusion, because she gave a short nod. “I thought as much,” she said to herself, and then raised her chin to meet their gazes once more, “Everyone heard that you did not come to Cairhien alone, but that you came with a child. A boy child. Accompanied by two Aes Sedai of the White Tower, it is natural for the Houses to believe that the child is Korl Lorien, next in line to the High Seat of House Lorien. It is said he disappeared years ago, and no one knows where he has gone, although he was said to have been sighted in Tar Valon. But I thought to myself that this boy was not. And,” she added, “whoever he might be is of no concern to me. I don’t allow my patrons to be whisked away in such a manner.”

Very interesting. “Then Master Lewin,” she said as she turned towards her near-sister and met her gaze, “must have been one of the spies.” He had been trying to stall them from reentering Elyn’s shop, and would have succeeded had the seamstress agreed to the plan and given Devin away. She half turned towards the door.

“He’ll be gone,” Mistress Elyn spoke from where she stood, and Menaihya turned to face her once more. “He will have left the city by now, or if he hasn’t, he will be so hidden—by the House that employed him, likely—that I’m afraid you won’t have a chance of finding him.” Menaihya nodded, a light grimace upon her lips. The Land of the Sun was a land of riddles and schemes. “Aes…Sedai…,” Mistress Elyn spoke again, her tone suddenly unforthcoming, “I would ask that you will….reconsider your appointment. I…” She looked at them and curtsied, spreading her skirts, “It’s an honor to serve two Aes Sedai and make you dresses, very much so, but if you’ll understand, I don’t get myself involved in Daes Dae’mar. Your gowns…” Her eye was pleading. “You must understand.”

Menaihya did understand. “You will not have to come to the Asha’man’s premises, Mistress Elyn,” she acquiesced, and the woman seemed visibly relieved.

“Thank you, Aes Sedai,” she said with another curtsy, this one deeper than the former, “I can recommend several seamstresses if you would wish. Excellent ones whose skill far exceeds mine.” She blinked, turned, paced towards the counter, and held out a packet. “These are the boy’s clothes.”

Menaihya took the parcel from her. “For a seamstress,” she observed, “and one who so wishes not to involve herself in the Great Game, you seem to know quite a bit of it.” A pause. “What is the real reason you did not give the boy away?”

The woman looked down for a long moment. “If the child was truly Korl Lorien…” She looked up and shrugged, “He would have been my cousin. I felt obliged to protect my kin.” As the seamstress turned to gather up more of the fallen silks, Menaihya turned to stare at Terrian, who held her gaze with surprise in her own. They both knew what that meant: this Elyn Shile was Jostayn’s cousin as well.

“Here is the coin to cover the damage to your shop, as well as for the boy’s clothes,” Menaihya said at length, laying down the sum atop the counter.

“You are too kind, Aes Sedai,” the seamstress said with a curtsy deeper than all the others. Turning, the two Greens and the boy called Devin exited the shop, and mounting their horses, they made their way towards the ambassador’s residences once more.

OOC: No, *laughs* Polyjuice Potion most certainly doesn’t revive. But it was the first thing that came to mind, and I was in a stupid mood.:) But aw, my bad for not thinking - I had no idea the seamstress would interfere with your plans! I felt bad, thus Elyn’s not coming after all. If you still want them fitted for dresses we can always call in another seamstress, Elyn’s ‘recommendation’, or something.;) I hope the whole Lewin business turned out passably. I was set to pondering what could have happened, and this was all I could come up with. *sigh*

  • Shopping SpreeTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Fri Apr 21 20:44
    For a brief moment, Terrian wondered what had suddenly come over her that could possibly have driven her to ask the seamstress to come to the Asha'man's residence for herself and her near-sister to... more
    • I hate this city! — Menaihya Sedai, Sat Apr 22 11:35
      • We're Not in Tar Valon Anymore...Terrian Dy'ner Sedai, Sat May 13 14:54
        "I'm telling you, Menaihya, that isn't what shopping is normally like," Terrian was trying to explain as they made the short walk back to Mistress Elyn's, "I mean, most shopkeepers aren't so... more
        • Dinner TalkMenaihya Sedai, Mon May 15 09:59
          ‘As soon as he has the chance’ turned out to be a while thereon. Even as they wound their way up the staircase and approached their chambers, Menaihya silently mulling over what Terrian had so... more
          • We Need to TalkTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Sat May 20 20:38
            For days afterward, Terrian pondered what to do; what lead to follow. She found that as she had grown into her role in the Ajah, so had her need to plan and think through things even though she knew... more
            • By Way of TalkAsha'man Jostayn Roen, Ambassador, Mon May 22 21:53
              The air in the study-parlor was warm, almost too warm, despite that the tall windows placed in intervals throughout the chamber were each cracked open an inch, every once in a while permitting a... more
              • A PropositionTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Fri Jun 9 20:14
                There had been a time, it seemed so very long ago now, when she would have shifted nervously waiting for the door to open, a time when her hands would have gone to smooth a skirt that had no need of... more
                • Mental ShearingAsha'man Jostayn Roen, Fri Jun 16 00:37
                  Women had the knack of surprising even the most placid and composed of people, even such of the breed as Black Tower diplomats. “Oh, how I wish this could be a pleasant chat for the both of us,” the... more
                  • Binding WordsTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Sat Jun 17 20:40
                    Somehow, Terrian had allowed herself to forget that the man she was speaking with was not an Aes Sedai as she was. It was a thought only occurring to her now that he may lie if he did not wish to... more
                    • Forgotten ScarsAsha'man Jostayn Roen, Ambassador, Wed Jun 21 10:20
                      “…I am glad we have established that,” were her cool words, and, without exaggeration, her words were cool. “But while we speak of assumptions, let me point out that you make a few of your own.” She... more
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