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On Failure
Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:32 (XFF:

"Terrian Sedai, might I be so bold as to inquire about you on a more personal level?" She could sense the anticipation as she resettled herself in her seat, turning to look at the High Seat. He had impeccable timing, this Shae Lorien, and an amazing ability to choose the precisely wrong moment to initiate conversation. Menaihya would simply have to take Devin and get him cleaned up; she couldn't possibly find any socially acceptable way to excuse herself now that she was engaged in a conversation with the Lord of the house. Had she not been an Aes Sedai, she would have sighed, groaned even. As it was, she was an Aes Sedai and sighing would have been unbecoming her station, so she was resigned to a polite smile and nod. She had to wonder what these prying questions were all about. First they had come from Lady Yvette by way of Lady Ariane and now from Lord Shae himself. They were trying to get at something, trying to force her into a corner, and for all her training and natural logic she couldn't how long she had before the wall would be at her back. She couldn't even tell what this corner they were slowly moving toward was. Yet she had no choice but to allow their questions. Refusing to even hear them would create more suspicion than answering them.

Shae Lorien smiled slightly in return, and that was when he dropped the big one, the question she had hoped would be avoided. "Your surname – Dy'ner – is Amadician if I'm not mistaken?" Yes, that was quite the question he had just dropped on her, but the look on his face told her he held something back. He hadn't shown her all the cards yet and she was in the dark as to what he was holding on to. She would simply have to wait for the other shoe to drop. Until then, she had to be careful.

"It is," She confirmed without a hint of shame. She was what she was after all, "I was born and raised in Amador." Of course, he knew that. If he had done his digging properly he even knew her parent's names. The man certainly hadn't guessed at her nationality by her surname alone, so he must have done his research properly. Of course, that also should mean that he had knowledge of the fact that though she claimed the name Dy'ner, she had been formally removed from the line of inheritance when she had been nineteen.

"Recently associated with members of nobility if I understand correctly?" The High Seat's questions into her family continued, although this confused Terrian. Where had he come across this misinformation?

"Not as far as I know, milord. Perhaps many generations back, but not recently." Her mind worked furiously, going back through each member of her family and trying to find one who had been noble – or one who could have recently married into nobility or had even a fling with a noble. Her aunt had been married since before Terrian had been born, and all of her cousins since she had been thirteen. She had no siblings, so that couldn't have been it. Yet, no matter how she tried she couldn't think of any mention of her family ever having been anything but Children of the Light and merchants.

"But, the news out of Amadicia a few years back was that members of your family had been close to members of the Cairhienin House Leci. Am I wrong?" A deathly silence fell over the table as those near them regarded the Aes Sedai, as if trying to see what she would do next. The look in Terrian's hazel eyes could have frozen, not merely chilled, wine as she realized this was it; what he had been holding back. Shae Lorien had stopped toeing the line of decorum and had now set a foot over it in what was a dangerous gamble. As an Aes Sedai, she wasn't going to stand for it.

"You go too far, Lord Shae." She answered simply, voice calm yet dangerous as her glance strayed for the briefest moment to Lady Eliani as most every other eye in the room had done when the fact that House Leci had been mentioned dawned on them. "I will not tolerate any further inquiries along this line." She had to question if her reaction had been too strong. She really had nothing to hide. Except, the thought that every Lord and Lady would be digging to see what they could find after this was unsettling; as was the thought that word of this would certainly get back to Jostayn. Yet, she was no fool and she knew this had to be put to and end. She would not be manipulated or discredited and it was time to send a firm message, especially when she knew Lord Shae was attempting to find Korl. Showing that he had knowledge she wanted kept quiet was quite the ploy to force her to corporate. Unfortunately, Aes Sedai couldn't be controlled that way.

The meal finished with the uneasy buzz of hushed conversation, no on daring to attempt to pry any further, and the uncomfortable atmosphere it created shifted to the parlor with the guests as they left the dinner table. Lord Shae excused himself for a moment, as was expected considering the Aes Sedai had just put him in his place quite firmly, and Terrian found herself engaged only in superficial, polite conversation until Ladies Ariane and Yvette approached. Eliani followed in their wake. "Terrian Sedai," Yvette spoke warmly but kept her voice low, "Just between us, I can't believe Shae Lorien would do such a thing."

"I'm sure, Lady Yvette." Terrian found it was an effort to keep her tone from becoming accusing.

"Yet, I have to wonder what he was referring to." Ariane picked up, playing the role of an innocent young woman perfectly. She even managed to make the question seem to almost be a statement. Light, they were good at this! Terrian wasn't foolish enough to think that Ariane's head was really that empty.

As she opened her mouth to reiterate her earlier sentiment about further inquires into her past, she was interrupted by Menaihya. "Terrian," the addressed Aes Sedai jumped, having not realized that the woman had come up next to her, "I must talk to you. Devin has vani…" The Aiel woman trailed off as her attention was drawn to the other end of the room, Terrian's own hazel gaze following in time to see Shae Lorien entering with Devin before him. She frowned and looked to her near-sister in a surprise born of confusion.


"I do not know." Terrian's gaze swung back to the High Seat at this answer, her suspicions rising quickly. It was one thing to attempt to use her past as a bargaining chip, that was to be expected when playing Daes Dae'mar, but to drag in an innocent child was outrageous.

"This little fellow appears to be quite a curious young man." Terrian regarded Lord Shae coolly as he approached and spoke to them. He was getting to be on worse and worse terms with her, "You can't imagine my surprise when I took a visit to my personal anteroom and found him standing there, looking stranded if anything." No, of course. I couldn't imagine your surprise. She didn't move as Devin made a break for her, latching on and hiding behind the skirt of her dress. "You see, Menaihya Sedai," he was looking at her near-sister, a dark smile playing on his features, "I am not so foolish as to commit the unthinkable. I would never, say, kidnap this boy from under your nose, even though, I'm sure you are aware, I had the most perfect chance just now."

Terrian resisted the urge to make an emotional response. She had been through enough today and the Light only knew what she would say if she didn't stop to think. Menaihya, on the other hand, had things well under control. "If I were you, Lord Shae, I would be worrying about something else right now. There is a murdered woman lying in one of your halls at this very moment." Terrian's gaze snapped to Menaihya and the same moment her near-sister turned to face her, "Terrian, you must come see whether you can Heal this woman."

Terrian nodded and followed quickly after Menaihya, gathering skirts to well above a proper length and breaking into a run as soon as the she could see where the victim was. She knew as well as any Healer that in such circumstances every extra second counted, and Aes Sedai propriety be damned. Even as she dropped to her knees, ignoring the blood that seeped into the green fabric of her dress, she was embracing saidar and beginning to spin out threads of Spirit for the Delving weave. Yet, she knew as soon as she laid her hands over the wound and allowed the weave to sink in that it was too late; this woman's soul was already in the hands of the Creator thanks to the work of a poison tipped blade. Looking to Menaihya she shook her head sadly, there was nothing she could do. Death simply could not be Healed.

Channeling flows of Air, Terrian rolled the body over so it was no long laying facedown and closed the woman's eyes with a gentle hand. She had seen death before – part of learning to Heal was learning to deal with death – but never in such a senseless manner as cold-blooded murder. It made her angry, as she knew the knife that had killed this woman was meant for Menaihya or herself and this servant had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It had likely been someone's plan to dispose of an Aes Sedai and kidnap Devin all in one swoop. At least, that was what she reason from the traces of poison her Delve had picked up in the servant. Even if they had managed only to place the shallowest cut on their intended victim, the poison would have done the rest.

Rising, Terrian carefully channeled to clean the blood from her hands and dress. It was only when she glanced to her three onlookers that she realized Devin was frozen, staring at the body. Quick flows of Fire, Air, Spirit Concealed the sight and snapped Devin out of his horrified stare. Apparently they also concentrated Lord Shae's thoughts as well and as Terrian held saidar just in case something should happen he demanded, "What did you do with the body?"

"I've done nothing with the body, Lord Shae. It is still there; merely hidden under the cover of a Concealment weave so as not to scare poor Devin more than is necessary." She looked to Menaihya. "Someone in this house was trying to kidnap Devin and kill us in the process. The blade that killed that woman was tipped in poison." Her hazel gaze returned to the High Seat. There was nothing more to do now than see what his reaction would be. Light knew he had placed himself under suspicion simply by making his intention to have Korl Lorien back at seemingly any cost known. Yet, the one who had committed this crime would likely never be found, and certainly would never be prosecuted. She had to wonder if it was always felt like this when the victim couldn't be saved. She wished she knew more about the current situation in Cairhien, and, oddly enough, she wished Jostayn were here. He knew enough about Cairhienin politics as they currently stood to be of a lot of help.

She shook her head and refocused her gaze on Lord Shae. Now, where in the world had that thought come from?

OOC: There we go, the suspicion has been cast. That was exciting! I had to have the servant die, simply because Terrian hasn't ever not been able to Heal a patient before. Besides, it was more dramatic that way. *grins* I'm anticipating that we'll likely never find the culprit for some reason such as lack of evidence or the like. Besides, they're Greens, not Blues! *blinks* Oh, jeez, I'm just rambling now. After I go eat something I think I'm going to write a festival post up, so I should just stop now.

This is just too much fun though! By the way, our new word count is 67,972 words!

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