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Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles
Elfram's Tale
Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:10 (XFF:

Maradon was a large city, one of the largest in the Borderlands, and it was due to the heavy and massive amount of trade that occurred within its walls. Demetri knew of two other agents that were in close proximity to the entrances through the gates and she spent the next day getting to know them, re-establishing contact with them. One had continued reporting to the Keeper, despite a lack of response or contact from the White Tower. His name was Elfram, a man with a large, shocking head of white hair and startling blue eyes that nearly glowed with life. He worked as a leather-worker and was situated on the southern side of the city, and when Demetri entered his shop, he gave a sharp cackle and set aside a thick strip of leather. "Well, well, I was wondering when one of you would show up to talk to me."

Laurian and Deme cast each other a look that spoke volumes. Turning back to Elfram, Demetri tilted her head. "You've been expecting me?"

"Well, not you specifically, Aes Sedai, but one of you. Ever since you've been shuffling Keepers around that Tower of yours. Why I haven't heard from someone in over ten years! But I kept sending my reports as I heard them, all the same. Figured one Keeper's as good as the next. Would you like some tea? My wife makes a good pot."

He moved to call his wife, but Laurian stopped him with a smile, "Thank you for the offer, but we're still full from the morning meal."

Elfram shrugged and turned back to them, his lean body leaning against a table. "So whatcha here for? Just to talk to me?"

"Basically." Deme answered candidly. "I know that the network's been depleted over the years and I want to bring back people like you. Believe it or not, your continued information has been appreciated—and I wanted to come and see the man who had kept up his duties even when it seemed like no one cared about what he reported."

"You've a smooth tongue, Aes Sedai. Honeyed and smooth." He cackled. "But I'm getting old in my years and a young, pretty face like yours makes me smile when you talk like that." She could feel Laurian's amusement as it echoed her own at his words 'young' and that he was getting 'old'. Laurian was probably old enough to be his older brother and Deme was most likely of an age with the man. "I don't know how much longer I have in my own life so I've been having my eldest son take up the responsibilities. His ears are keener than mine now and people talk to him when they come in the shop."

Demetri nodded. "I understand, and I thank you for keeping on the tradition by having your son follow. Is he about so that we can meet? I'd like him to know to whom he sends his reports."

"Of course," Elfram agreed. "He's probably down at the Central Market right now, I expect he'll be there until midday at least, selling some of the more popular items." Demetri nodded as if she knew what sort of things a leather worker sold were popular. "Just tell him who you are, and he'll be friendly-like. His name is Altin, by the way"

Rising from her chair, Elfram suddenly straightened and bent into a deep bow. "I thank you kindly, Master Elfram, your work with the White Tower has been appreciated and I'll see to it that the Tower gives you generous compensation for your long service with them." There was an odd sparkle to the man's eye as they left, his best wishes and promises to continue the reports in hand.

They found the Central Market by the signs that led even the most illiterate of visitors in the right direction, bringing them to a large square that was filled with noise, people, vendor stands, even rough shanties that looked more dangerous than serviceable. A few polite inquiries by Dai, who had been silent up until now, directed them toward a stall near the south edge of the market. The table was set with an arrangements of many leather items, some tooled and decorated finely, others just simple straps made into loops to hold mugs and other items to the belt.

Elfram's son, Altin, was evidently the man behind the table, his piercing and bright blue eyes nearly a match for his fathers. Instead of the wild, white hair, however, his was a sandy brown, shaggy and a little unkempt, but almost as if by design. When they approached, he provided them with a winning smile. "Aes Sedai, Gaidin, welcome to my stand! What can I get for you?"

"We came merely to talk, Master Altin. I'm Demetri Sedai and your father sent us to you as I am the Aes Sedai he's been sending reports to most recently." Demetri moved forward, hearing the slight hiss of displeasure from both Dai and Laurian for speaking so openly in such an open place.

The leather worker's son seemed to feel the same way as her bondmates and looked about quickly before dropping his voice to a soft tone, even if his smile didn't dim too much. "Ah yes, the infamous Aes Sedai. Word just reached us that a new Keeper has been placed in the Tower—I'm glad that you've come to meet my father and I."

"How did your father get involved with the Tower, Master Altin?"

He glanced at her, surprised. "I thought you knew." She shook her head. "Well, I won't turn it into a long story, but it comes down to the fact that he was bonded at one point by an older Aes Sedai. A Yellow by the name of Kera. I'm not sure how old she was by the time she'd bonded my father, but white was beginning to show in her hair and he was only in his mid twenties at the time. About ten years ago, after they'd been bonded for 40 years, she released him from the bond, saying that it wasn't right for him to feel her death when she finally passed away. So, she released him, she died within the next couple of years, and he's been working ever since. But he loved his Aes Sedai—" Altin coughed and looked at Demetri. "Not in that way, you understand."

She smiled. "I do."

"Anyway, when she died, he decided to offer his services to the Tower, working for the Keeper because Kera had been good friends with one of the older ones—Praja Sedai I think her name was." Deme nodded. "And so he's been doing this ever since, even though the Keepers have changed over the years, he still serves as he feels he should."

"And what about you, Master Altin?"

His smile was mischievous. "I'm sure Mother would have wanted me to carry on his work too." She blinked and Dai let out a barking laugh as realization dawned on them.

Laurian looked to the man a moment. "Have you ever been tested for the ability?"

This time it was Altin's turn to look surprised. "Ah, no, we never considered it. I mean, I've reached the point in my life if I were going to unaided, I would have, so we haven't pursued it."

"True," Demetri replied gently. "But you can also have the ability to learn." Sensing where Laurian was going with this, Deme continued. "The process would take only a few moments. I can watch your stand while Laurian performs the test, if you wanted."

"We don't go mad anymore. Saidin's been cleansed." Laurian supplied when Altin still looked dubious. After a few moments' thought, the young man finally gave his ascent with a shaky smile and Laurian led him to a place with more privacy.

"Did you know her? Kera?" Dai's voice was soft as he looked at Demetri.

"I didn't, but Ariana did. She was showing gray in her hair while Ari was still a Novice and white had begun to show when she left the Tower about a decade later. For some reason we could never figure out why she aged faster than normal. It might have been her strength in the Power and it might have been something else, we don't know. I just recall when she went into retirement that she liked her chocolate cake. That she had a son so late in life is—" Deme shook her head, unwilling to state it. Not at the risk of Altin walking up just as she said something awkward.

"I was thinking the same thing. It might not be what you think." Dai agreed, keeping his own voice low. "Ah, and how did he do?"

Laurian and Altin walked back, and she wasn't surprised to see the tiniest bit of relief on the young man's face. "He can't even learn, but that's okay, we might have lost a good agent out here if we had to bring you in." The Brown clapped Altin on the back and his shoulders straightened.

Demetri smiled at the young man, wondering what the story was behind his real mother, and why a Yellow and her Gaidin would go to such lengths to make him believe a lie. It's not your place to find out, she chided herself harshly, bringing her back to the business at hand. "So I can expect to continue receiving reports from you and your father?" She asked.

Balene was true to her word, coming back to the Peppered Bin that evening, daughter in tow. The girl's tilted green-hazel eyes were slightly wide with awe as the Saldaean woman announced who Demetri was, and her hands trembled in the narrow skirts as Deme approached. "This is my daughter, Clyseen."

"Hello, Clyseen." Opening herself to the Source, it was no effort to draw on a tiny thread of Fire and make a small flame. It was the extent of what she could channel—that nearly transparent, flickering flow—without the ring and bracelet set she wore. "You don't need to do anything but focus on this flame. I want to you to feel for it, see if you can feel the Power that flows in me, forming the flame, making it appear. Just clear your mind of everything…"

Demetri walked through this testing; it was one of the most basic ones for testing a girl for the ability to learn, one used back in the Age of Legends on a regular basis. She continued on in a soothing tone, a soft murmur meant to draw Clyseen in. It was nearly five minutes before the resonance happened, the simple yet insistent awareness as the Power resonated in the girl.

"I felt it." Clyseen said, her almond shaped eyes wide with wonder. "Does that mean I can channel?"

Demetri smiled. "It does. Depending on what your mother wants, I can create a Gateway back to the Tower whenever you're ready." While Clyseen seemed to be bouncing off of the walls with happiness, there was a happiness in Balene's eyes as well. "She'll be strong enough to pass the Testings if she applies herself, Balene. There's a solid strength in her that she'll be of at least average strength in the Tower."

There was an effusion of light that lit Balene's features and her eyes filled with tears. "Thank you, Demetri Sedai. Thank you. I can make her ready tomorrow for you to take back."

She gave a soft laugh in response. "I won't need her to ride back with me, Balene. The Talent for Traveling's been rediscovered and once I make a Gateway, she'll take one step from Maradon straight into the White Tower in the blink of an eye." Balene's countenance took on bewildered wonderment and merely nodded. Demetri guessed she was too happy that her daughter could do what she hadn't the strength to do herself to understand anything at the moment.

  • The Peppered BinDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Wed Aug 16 10:59
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    • Elfram's Tale — Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Wed Sep 27 10:10
      • A History in CanluumDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Tue Oct 3 08:21
        Balene entered the dining room the next morning; there were bags under her eyes but a smiling curve to her lips as she was followed by Clyseen. Both looked tired and exhausted, but from sitting up... more
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          "I’m sorry, Aes Sedai, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave." They hadn't been situated in The Golden Hind for more than a couple hours, Dai had left almost immediately in search of her first... more
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