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Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles
Carai misain
Mon Oct 9, 2006 09:30
63.238.223.66 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

"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 contact. The proprietor's eyes had widened slightly when Demetri had given her name, and until this very moment, she'd made the assumption that it had been her status as Aes Sedai that had earned such a reaction.

Rising, she stood of a height with him, which was not considerable for either of them, and kept her face smooth and serene. "One might wonder why you ask this, Master Istonal."

He glanced away from her, clearly uncomfortable even to her own eyes. "It would just be better if you left, Aes Sedai. Don't ask me for reasons."

"Let me guess," she said softly, "It's been a quiet, yet insistent order from the lord of Canluum." The inkeeper's face flushed his response and Demetri shook her head. "I wouldn't place you in harm's way, Master Istonal, this is a matter between myself and Lord Marcasiev and shouldn't concern you. I'll have my things packed if you will promise to deliver a note to my Warder when he returns."

Relief spread over the man's face and he nodded. "Yes, Aes Sedai. Thank you."

As they placed their belongings back into the bags, Laurian sighed. "I suppose it would have been too much to hope that we were safe once through the gates."

Demetri smiled. "I had rather thought, but you insisted out of some strange embarrassment of pretending to be my husband." She sense rather than saw the flash of strong shame within him and Demetri wondered what it was that ate at him about them. "But it's no matter, Marcasiev has most likely spread my name and description throughout the city and it's going to make getting an inn around here impossible."

"Then what will we do? You have several contacts here in the city, maybe you could stay with one of them?"

"Light no! Two of them are pickpockets in the north side of town, Dai would have a fit if I even contemplated setting foot in such a dangerous section of the city. The other two are—well their association with the White Tower is something of a secret. If I came to them, it would ruin things. For them, not me." She smiled. "No, I'm afraid that when Marcasiev put out the bad word about my name, he backed himself into a corner."

"Demetri…"

"In fact, I think it's going to be rather funny." She smiled.

"Deme…"

Turning to Laurian with a wide smile, her blue-green eyes sparkled. "What? You know the whole 'keep your friends close, your enemies closer' adage." She felt Laurian's resistance and his worry through the bond and she sobered enough to try and reassure him. "He left me little choice, and you know it. He's spreading the word that I'm not to be allowed in any Canluum inn."

"You can use your rank, Demetri. Go to The Gates of Heaven, they'll take you in; he holds no sway over those loyal to the White Tower. They don't fear his power because they have our protection. Especially when it's the Keeper of the Chronicles."

Laurian's argument was logical and it made sense to Demetri, but one thing she couldn't explain to him was that her pride had been pricked; Marcasiev had issued a challenge to her, silent and hidden, but she saw it. "To run to The Gates of Heaven, Laurian, means that I've been cowed. That he exerted pressure and I had to hide behind the skirts of the White Tower." She shook her head. "He placed an unspoken taboo on the head of an Aes Sedai. Not even the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light would do such a thing."

Laurian's head bobbed reluctantly, but she felt his acceptance. "You're right, I didn't think of it that way." His gaze narrowed over their bags. "But you don't have to be so cheerful about it."




Marcasiev's palace was situated at the top of a rise within the city, allowing the lord an unhindered view of the city that lay without his walls. Dai had caught up to them quickly as they'd gone through the city and between Laurian and Demetri had been filled in on the situation. She felt his indignation through the bond even before Dai's face darkened with anger. "He plays a very dangerous game with you, Demetri. No Borderlander lord would be so arrogant as to cut off an Aes Sedai access to any inn. An to do it to the Keeper. The man's braggadocio in this matter…"

She shook her head. "I don't think he knows I'm Keeper, Dai. I think all he knows is that the same Aes Sedai who was responsible for his kin's suicide is back in the city and he wants to tweak my nose. I don't think it's a game, it's just a little power trip. A little retribution on something he's never been able to seek revenge against."

The Shienaran Warder shrugged and she felt his lack of credence in her own belief. The truth was that even Deme wasn't entirely confident of her statement. She'd forced one of his cousins to his death. And if Marcasiev had been particularly close to his recalcitrant kin…

The arrived at the gates of the palace, the large wrought-iron portal closed to travelers. Two men in matching blue uniforms with a white and red sash slanted across their chests stepped forward, hands near their swords, but not on them. One of the men glanced to Dai and his gaze widened slightly as it took in the fancloth that fluttered without much enthusiasm in the small breeze. "Identify yourselves strangers."

Dai moved his great mount forward and he bowed from the saddle. "The Keeper of the Chronicles, Demetri da'Faile Aes Sedai, seeks shelter from the winter within the home of your master." Although Demetri knew little of Borderlander customs, she guessed that her bondmate's words had been akin to the Aiel customs of seeking shelter in a clan's hold. To refuse her would have dire consequences on anyone who denied her entrance.

The two men didn't even hesitate, one moved forward to unlatch the gates while the other bowed to her respectfully. "Kodome calichniye ga ni Aes Sedai hei."

Demetri smiled and pressed her hand to her heart in response. "Ninte calichniye no damashita, gaidin."

Laurian gave a slight choking sound as Demetri named the guard "brother to battle", but she saw the look of deep respect cast over the guard's features. It had been a small concession in giving him such an honored appellation, and as such she'd managed to secure his loyalty to some degree. She felt somewhat dirty playing such a game with the man, maneuvering against Lord Marcasiev in a "just in case" scenario, and yet it was unavoidable.

The gates swung wide and the man directed them to the entrance of the palace with a sweep of his finger. As they left the two men, the one guard bowed deeply again when she glanced at him and then they were moving toward the palace, up another twisting and winding road that would bring them to the apex of the hill and into the seat of power for the lord of Canluum. Laurian leaned over with a frown, "Why did you do that?"

She nearly felt ashamed to say it, but Demetri also knew she couldn't avoid answering Laurian with anything but the full truth. "He gave me an honored welcome, Laurian, which means that he reveres Aes Sedai. To call him gaidin was to do nothing but honor him in return. Besides, he'll remember this in case something goes wrong here at the palace. One loyal guard among the whole could be the difference." She saw his mouth twist and felt the echo of his distaste and knew that he had to know she liked it as much as he did. "I know, I don't like it either, but sometimes we're forced to do things we don't like because we have to."

He nodded and they rode the rest of the way in silence; as they approached the main entrance of the palace, a tall man with dark hair and a close-cropped beard stood outside. His chest was deep and broad and accentuated by a sash of white, gold and red that crossed over the deep blue coat he wore. His navy trousers were loose yet tailored and his boots shined enough to reflect the feeble afternoon light. Demetri looked into his shrewd green eyes and knew that it was Lord Marcasiev himself who had come out to greet them.

Dismounting and allowing the grooms to take their horses and belongings, Lord Marcasiev paused slightly and then bowed. "Aes Sedai, you honor me with your visit."

Rather than allow Dai to make introductions, Laurian stepped forward and give a slight nod of his head. "We are thankful for your hospitality, Lord Marcasiev." He responded just as formally. Sweeping his arm back to gesture to Demetri, "May I present Demetri da'Faile Aes Sedai, Keeper of the Chronicles."

Although Marcasiev had evidently known of their approach and arrival at his gates, her exact stature in the White Tower had yet to be made known to him. She knew this because the bow he began at Laurian's introduction stuttered and he nearly fell over in surprise before recovering himself to stare at her with a little less arrogance than before. "Keeper, I am very honored by your visit. Kodome calichniye ga ni Keeper hei."

Giving only the barest nods of her head to the man, she replied. "Carai misain." Despite whatever the man's animosity was to her, she saw his face pale slightly as she deviated from the customary welcome; rather than responding with "Your welcome warms my heart." In the Old Tongue, she merely responded with, "I am honored." Stepping forward, the stole of her office looped loosely on her arms, she continued, "I have come to stay in your palace for the duration of my visit in Canluum, Lord Marcasiev. I expect that you'll be more than happy to provide a warm place to stay for the Keeper of the Chronicles and her two Warders, yes?"

The man's smile wasn't as weak as she expected, he was recovering from the shock of what he'd done, but the spark to his green eyes provided her with a little reason to worry. Whatever plans he'd intended for her had changed; where she might have predicted what he'd do next, they were both on unfamiliar ground and Demetri had no idea how far Lord Marcasiev would go for revenge. Would he let it go or would he continue on with only slightly more caution.

Dai leaned close to her, whispering at her ear as they were led inside, "Be careful around him, Deme. I think he's planning something dangerous." She could only manage a bare nod to his caution, knowing that her Warder was right.

  • A History in CanluumDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Tue Oct 3 08:21
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