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Methods of Persuasion
Mon Nov 20, 2006 15:36 (XFF:

It was the most peculiar of encounters. Cloaked in midnight, the room realized its two inhabitants conversing of myriad topics–of informants and Tsorovan’m’haels and secrets and Seanchan. It was all a dizzying alignment of events, considering he had only just woken mere moments to the woman peering before him. She was not some arbitrary Asha’man Jasper, but, rather, Asha’man Jasper Kielle, and that made all the difference. Lysander realized all too late that he had heard the woman’s name spoken in occasions past, but had never seen the woman in the flesh. She’d served as the Tsorovan’m’hael prior to Poettre Valis, who, in turn, had been the predecessor as Tsorovan’m’hael of Byran al’Korwyn.

“Your information,” he said quietly, “has been extracted from the Tower’s records. It would seem as though someone out there does not like you–or me, for that matter.” Or Ronan. Or Poettre. The records had been in a state of comparative disarray since the departure of the last Tsorovan’m’hael, whose duty it was to maintain said depositories. However, as Ronan, for her unspoken reasons, had not appointed a Tsorovan’m’hael . . . and as Lysander would not as well . . . it seemed as though too many folks were privy to them these days. A pathetic state of affairs.

Nonetheless, Jasper Kielle’s registration within the Tower was an irrelevancy. It mattered not whether some dossier within the walls existed in which her name was scrawled. What mattered, however, was that she was standing here. She had returned from the Seanchan, but her arrival in his bedroom chambers implied some vague sense of urgency, some necessity that could not be accomplished by holding an audience by the grace of the morning sun.

A military strike by the Seanchan could be a devastating impact considering the likely proximity of the Last Battle.

The Seanchan was planning to target the Black Tower, then? Jasper had not said that, though. She had not said that. She had merely pointed out the possible ramifications. Was this, then, a warning or a threat? There was indeed a difference between the two. A warning foretold of plans already in action, of things set in stone. A warning was as prescient as the aura that had been suspended over the woman’s head if delivered by a reliable source. A threat, however, served akin to an ultimatum. It told of a possible future, one that was avoidable should he take proper steps. Should he dance to another’s tune.

Lysander had never been much for dancing.

“I will not press you for information,” he said simply. “You came here for a reason. You would not have intruded upon the bedchamber of a man fully equipped to commit murder if only to say that you were back from what missions Poettre Valis had bequeathed upon you. I would like you to think on what it is you would like to tell me, Jasper, and tell me so. Not now, though. In a moment. For now, we are going to the administrative buildings–yes, even still. Not to enroll you as a Soldier, but to update your information as an Asha’man.”

At once, Lysander released the shield, tensing aptly on the balls of his feet. No counterattack was given. The woman would not kill him. Saidin was hesitantly released. Nonetheless, he was wary, making sure that he strode at more than an arm’s reach from her. The aura had told of a bond. Myrth had robbed him of his freedom–he sensed the idiot Yellow to the north and the east–yet he would not be stupid. An aura could not be avoided, but it could be interpreted. Perhaps it was Lysander who was to bond the woman? For this betraying mire of possibilities, Lysander was both assured and vigilant.

Padding across silent, dusty cobblestones, the pair descended through the night within the Tower’s walls. The moon was at least half obscured by a roiling tuft of autumnal clouds, and a chill swept through with all the power of the bustling undercurrent of wind.

Upon their arrival, Lysander passed through various chambers of deviating decoration–pale golds and harsh reds shifting abruptly to glossy blacks and vibrant yellows and fluorescent scarlets. These rooms had various purposes. For some, they proffered a place of assembly when congregating with lords unimportant enough to dine within his own house; others held the offices of various book-balancers and money-handlers. These halls, proper in their embellishment as they were, breathed all the hallmarks of mundaneness. And little aside.

The hall that housed the Tower’s records was something akin to a library. One was not forgotten within the Black Tower for their death or desertion; rather, their names were housed indefinitely. It was a matter of systematically pressing through file after file on the looming shelf, running through name after name in finding the dossier that hallmarked a woman now purportedly dead. He who updates these halls again without my permission will not step lightly again. An utterly pointless threat, but one made nevertheless.

Khoal . . . Khouldrin . . . Kiantara . . . Kiapshe . . . Kiedelve . . .


Plucking the dossier from the shelf, Lysander opened it and spied its contents, poring over them. Indeed, the description matched the woman before him to a simple perfection. The Shadow preserve him, but written in long, angled writing were the words “Killed in action in Fal Dara.” It was nonsensical. Had Poettre written this upon sending the woman to Seanchan? Or was there a person in existence who simply did not want the woman’s presence known? Peculiar, and infinitely so.

Still, it would be a matter of pondering for another night. Procuring a pen, Lysander began scrawling away at the page, printing in a small, neat script the woman’s true status. Once all had been done, he closed the folder, returning it to the collection. And that was that. Turning, Lysander folded his arms, seizing saidin. It was a precautionary measure of the most important nature. He spoke in quiet, dulcet tones. “I would like you to tell me what the Seanchan intends with the Black Tower.” It was not loud, not assertive. Not brazen nor bold. It was a simple fact. A statement of relevant truth.

The thought of the bond traipsed across the scope of his thoughts. And if the woman would not tell him, he knew a measure that would compel her to do so.

  • The Resilient WomanJasper Kielle, Fri Nov 17 11:34
    It was either intriguing or insulting, to be manhandled by the One Power in such a way, but Jasper could not quite decide which. It was a predictable course of action, and one which she had prepared... more
    • Methods of Persuasion — M'Hael Lysander, Mon Nov 20 15:36
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