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Ronan Letifer, Dai Shi Assassin
Double crossed
Fri Oct 13, 2006 09:32
63.238.223.66 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

Ronan's foot crunched on the dirt as she stepped through the Gateway; the moon cast flattened shadows amid silvery light, the entire town of Jiroh's Falls bathed in the cool light. By the position of the full moon, she knew it was just a few hours before sunrise, a time that she felt was safe to Gate back to the Black Tower and wake Kyran up for some research. He'd been grumpy but she'd been insistent and in the end he'd swung his legs out of the bed and started getting dressed. The Wards hadn't been disturbed in her absence and no one had tried to make a run for it. Of course, unless Lurie had been awake, Ronan doubted that anyone knew she had left. She smelled the smoke from the tabac before he spoke and turned in the direction of the scent to look at Aktor, his face dimly lit by the embers of his bowl.

"That's pretty amazing." He said, the bowl of his pipe briefly flaring from his inhalation. "Lurie never mentioned being able to do something like that." He squinted at her a moment with uncertainty writ on his shadowed expression. "Don't think she's hiding something like that from me, from the town, do you?"

Ronan shook her head and stepped forward; she preferred to keep a shorter distance between them, to read his expression. "Probably not, Aktor. The Black Tower's known about Traveling now for a time, the White Tower only for the past year or so from what I've heard, at least for the women." He nodded, sucking on the glowing tabac leaves. "Besides, she isn't strong enough in the Power to Travel—she might be able to Gate if she worked at it, but it wouldn't be as large as mine."

They were quiet for a time before Ronan breached the silence with a question. "That peddler, does he normally come through your town?"

"No." Aktor replied, truthfulness ringing in his tone. "This one ain't been here before, though his wares are a lot better than most peddlers. Most stuff they bring is used books, some good mended pots, and a few trinkets here and there that ain't worth much more than the copper or silver he's askin' for it. But this one has good stuff. The books are new it looks like, the pots are shining and not even used…"

"You think he's new to the trade?"

Aktor looked at her, his large bushy brows raising in surprise. "Me? What would I know? I keep the men of Jiroh's Falls from getting in trouble with the women of the town. I don't know much about the world 'cept what I've seen here and that ain't much, Asha'man. You're the worldly one, not me."

She shrugged. “I never had much opportunity to interact with peddlers unless I was nicking something. And then when I came to the Black Tower, peddlers generally avoided us.”

“A thief when you were younger, eh?” Aktor mused, surprise in his voice. “Didn’t come up much in the world now, did you? Now you just steal people’s lives.” The hairs on Ronan’s neck prickled and her hand dropped to her waist where a stiletto was concealed. “Oh, don’t look so surprised, when you were working today I saw one of the blades.”

Casting a suspicious eye to the man, Ronan finally became aware of the fact that Aktor was wide awake, and dressed while the rest of his town slept until the cock would crow in a couple hours. “What are you doing up?”

The man heaved himself off the wall and tapped the pipe into his bootheel, soft embers falling to the ground, dimming and going out before they struck earth. “Habit. Before I was mayor of Jiroh’s Falls, I was a farmer. I’d be up around this time having myself a smoke on the pipe and then get to readying the equipment—it takes an hour or so to get everything prepared before heading out to the fields and with the summer fading, every moment of light is precious. I could be asking you the same thing.”

Ronan smiled slightly. “You could, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be polite enough to answer, Aktor. I’d best catch an hour or so before I start my search again.”

The mayor laid a hand on her arm as she passed, a gesture she recognized instinctively as non-threatening. “What’ll you do with that woman if you find her, Asha’man?”

Baring her teeth at the man, he backed up, hand slipping from the black wool of her dress. “She helped kill a man I respected, handed him over to the Whitecloaks. When I find her, I’m going to steal her life.”



She slept through the crowing of the rooster and was only wakened by a knocking on her door. Blinking back the sleep, she padded her way to the door, the soft chill of the autumn morning cutting into her feet and through the thin shift. “Who is it?”

“It’s Lurie, Asha’man. I have a missive for you.” Pulling wide the door, Ronan shared a puzzled look with the mayor’s wife. “It came by a pigeon just this past few minutes, but your name’s on it.” The letter was thrust out and she immediately recognized the slanted scrawl of Kyran.

“Thank you, Lurie. I’ll be down once I’ve washed up and dressed.” If the woman had anything more to say, Ronan shut the door before it could be said, her fingers already snapping open the seal.

Ronan,

Aside from my expansive thanks for waking me in the dead of the night, I have information regarding one Lurie Ganesvort, a.k.a. Lurie Abijah. She arrived at the White Tower fifty years ago, placing her name in the Novice books. Much of what I’m reporting is heresay, but it was rumored after she left that she chose to go to the White Tower in order to infiltrate it for the Children of the Light. She was a good student and studied hard, no wonder given that she was expected to make it past the rank of Accepted.

When she was ready, seven years later, Lurie passed through the Arches and after the second one refused to go any further. Again, this is rumor and heresay, given that these records are locked in the cabinets of the Mistress of Novices. From what I understand, the plan was for her to make it to Aes Sedai so that she could weaken the system within, but whatever she saw in those Arches frightened her and she risked the wrath of the Children rather than continue.

Cast out, she never returned to the White Tower and it seemed that, at least for the past five decades, she has managed to elude the Children. But five years prior there were rumors of her returning to Amadicia and to the Fortress of the Light. What happened in there, is obviously beyond even my reach, but we can imagine she’s atoned for her sins against them.

Please let me know if I can assist you again, this time preferably during the day.

Yrs,
Kyran





The peddler had done his business, as she watched the man, he watched her while still doing shrewd business with the men and women of Jiroh’s Falls. She noticed that while Lurie was present, she never really came in contact with the man, evading his presence like a slithering eel. Of this, Ronan noticed and wondered at, thinking of Aktor’s words, on Kyran’s report—on the hatred in the peddler’s eyes and what he had called Ronan. Witch.

She stepped forward to confront the peddler when Aktor approached, a concerned look on his face. “I have something I need to show you.” There was an urgency to Aktor’s low tone and she saw him glance in the direction of where Lurie was talking to a few other women. “Come on.” He said, moving away lighter than she would have given him credit for.

Ronan wasn’t sure where she expected the man to take her, yet she was still surprised when they were in front of the inn once more, and he was leading her inside. “What’s this about, Aktor?” She finally asked as they moved through the foyer and up the stairs.

“Earlier this morning I was looking for my sharpening stone for our scythes and remembered that I’d put it into the front room so it wouldn’t rust as fast. It faces the south, you see, and gets a lot of sun, so not much cold and damp even in the winter.” He led them down the hall and stopped at a door, fumbling with a ring of keys and unlocking it. “We haven’t let out this room and I even asked Lurie this morning if she had someone in the room. She said no, so that doesn’t explain what I found.”

They stepped inside and Ronan saw immediately what had caused him concern—tucked into the corner of the room near the closet that Aktor must have been getting into was travel bag. Her fingers slid open the strings on the bag and Ronan searched the contents. That it belonged to her mark was no surprise, nor was it unexpected; she knew that someone had been helping the woman and it looked like it had been Lurie. Inside a small book was a scrap of paper addressed to someone named Arabela. In addition to the book, note that held nothing of importance to her, there was her clothing and nothing else. No provisions, no food, no water. And the clothing was unimportant—that’s why it’d been left behind for Lurie to dispose of later.

Realization dawned on Ronan as she realized that the peddler had to be part of the Whitecloaks as well and was going to help her mark escape. In the wagon where it would be obvious that he was passing through both her wards warning Ronan that someone was leaving the town limits. She wouldn’t need food or water because he’d be stocked. And she was most likely hanging around the peddler right now in some of Lurie’s clothing waiting for the right moment to climb in.

Without saying anything to Aktor, Ronan ran. She found herself winded by the time she reached the Common, but the peddler was already gone. Lurie stepped toward her, false concern painted on her features, “Asha’man, are you well?”

From her bent position, Ronan lifted her eyes to meet Lurie’s and the woman knew that Ronan had discovered the secret. The woman backpedaled even as the glow of saidar sprung up around her. Clumsily, but still effectively, she spun a fireball into creation and flung it at Ronan.

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