Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
We're Not in Tar Valon Anymore...
Sat May 13, 2006 14:54 (XFF:

"I'm telling you, Menaihya, that isn't what shopping is normally like," Terrian was trying to explain as they made the short walk back to Mistress Elyn's, "I mean, most shopkeepers aren't so insistent as Master Lewin. He was a bit over-zealous; I think anyone could see that. Besides, I do believe I mentioned that something was strange about him." Menaihya seemed to be having none of it; leaving nothing for Terrian to do but sigh, smile, and accept the fact that it might take awhile to convince her near-sister that shopping could actually be fun when not interfered with by crazed shopkeepers. Honestly, but Master Lewin had reminded her more of a street vendor attempting to impress the wealthy with their pretty, but worthless, baubles. That certainly wasn't the proper behavior for the proprietor of a well established shop. All the shopkeepers Terrian had known were fairly reserved, although they wouldn't hesitate to make their stance known once the fact that a purchase would be made was established. Still, something tugged at her mind about Master Lewin; as if his behavior were only a part of some much bigger puzzle that she had yet to solve.

As they entered Mistress Elyn's shop again, pieces of the puzzle that had begun to form in her mind fell into place neatly. The place was in disarray, the signs of a small skirmish of some sort were abundantly evident to the appraising eye that Terrian now cast over the scene. Yet even as her mind shifted the bits of information she knew already more questions arose that she had no answers for. Had they been anywhere but Cairhien she might not of read so much into a seemingly unfortunate series of coincidences. Yet, this was Cairhien, and if it happened she knew enough to know that it likely had something to do with the Game which permeated every aspect of life in the city. She had been White Tower trained after all, and she had earned the right to wear the shawl of an Aes Sedai. Slowly, with painstaking care, the Tower had cultivated a strange affinity toward the subtler things and the shifting currents of Daes Dae'mar certainly qualified. One could not claim the shawl or sash and not have at least a basic knowledge of the Game; after all, Aes Sedai seemed to very likely be the original players.

Devin, Light bless the sweet child, came running almost as soon as the pair had returned. Crouching down, Terrian drew him into her arms gently, "They – they tried to get at me," he said quickly, clearly quite distraught by whatever had occurred. The boy's tears wetted the Aes Sedai's shoulder as he continued, "They wanted to take me away!" Alarmed, Terrian rose, still holding the boy tightly in arms, and looked to Menaihya. What could anyone want with a child under the protection of two Aes Sedai? For that matter, who would be so foolish as to try anything? There were few willing to risk the wrath of an Aes Sedai. As she thought and turned her gaze to Mistress Elyn, Terrian attempted to calm poor little Devin; let Menaihya handle the obvious questions for now. Though, she did wish Devin would have taken to her near-sister more quickly. He was still frightened of the Aiel woman.

"What happened here?" Menaihya voiced the question they both wanted to ask as Mistress Elyn began to tidy her shop. Devin, for his part, still seemed very upset at whatever had just occurred.

"What I understand is there was some sort of conspiracy, Aes Sedai." The seamstress replied, a certain measure of distaste evident in her tone. "Nobles' game, really. It seems that your entrance into the city, Aes Sedai, was marked. The men at the gates, most like. Some of the nobility had spies planted in town – well, actually, the all do. But they were watching out for you." Terrian frowned as she crouched to set the boy back on the floor, but held him still. Did that mean they were looking for them specifically, or just a pair of Aes Sedai in general?

"What do they want from us?" Menaihya asked.

"Actually, not you specifically. They wanted the boy,"

"Devin?" Terrian questioned disbelievingly as she rose and the child continued to clutch at her skirt. What would anyone want with the practically orphaned child of a Darkfriend, especially Cairhienin nobles? She wished she knew more of the current political situation in Cairhien, to know what anyone would be looking for a young child for, but she didn't.

"I don't meddle with Daes Dae'mar business, Aes Sedai. Which is why I didn't allow the men to take the boy away when the invaded my shop. I called the City Watch to chase them away, but I'm afraid they won't give up so easily." That settled that then. Terrian made a mental note to weave a Finder on something of Devin's so that he couldn't be taken without them having an way to find him.

"We thank you," Menaihya picked up the work of discussing recent occurrences with Mistress Elyn again, leaving Terrian to tend to Devin. "But why would anyone want the child?"

The seamstress gaze turned to one of intense scrutiny for a time before she answered, looking them over as one in her profession would normally examine a piece of clothing, before nodding. "I thought as much." She said quietly, more to herself, before speaking to the two Aes Sedai. "Everyone heard that you did not come to Cairhien alone, but that you came with a child. A boy child. Accompanied by two Aes Sedai of the White Tower, it is natural for the Houses to believe that the child is Korl Lorien, next in line to the High Seat of House Lorien. It is said he disappeared years ago, and no one knows where he has gone, although he was said to have been sighted in Tar Valon. But I thought to myself that this boy was not. And whoever he might be is of no concern to me. I don't allow my patrons to be whisked away in such a manner."

Terrian smiled slightly, gratefully, at the woman. Light knew that most Cairhienins would have handed the child over in an instant unless they saw political advantage to keeping him greater than that in handing him over. "Then Master Lewin," Menaihya said, "must have been on of the spies." Terrian looked at her near-sister and nodded, wishing that she had thought of it when she had first noticed the wrongness of he whole situation. It would have saved them a lot of trouble if she had.

"He'll be gone," Mistress Elyn said, as the Aiel Aes Sedai's idea to go back after him became evident. "He will have left the city by now, or if he hasn't, he will be so hidden – by the House that employed him, likely – that I'm afraid you won't have a chance of finding him." Terrian nodded her agreement. If he had been a planted spy he would have stuck around to be caught and interrogated by two upset Aes Sedai. He would have had to be a fool to stay in the shop, or the city for that matter. As Mistress Elyn continued to speak, the matter she wished to address was disappointing, but understandable. In her position, Terrian would have gracefully withdrawn from the job as well. Menaihya dealt with the matter with equal grace.

"For a seamstress," she finally said, after taking the package of Devin's new clothes, "and one who so wishes not to involve herself in the Great Game, you seem to know quite a bit of it. What is the real reason you did not give the boy away?" Ah, and there was the central question, the one with an answer which truly made a difference.

"If the child was truly Korl Lorien…" She answered slowly with a shrug, "He would have been my cousin. I felt obliged to protect my kin." Terrian blinked, feeling the surprise in her gaze as she turned to Menaihya. If Mistress Elyn was related to Korl, then she had some sort of relation to Jostayn as well. Korl was a boy still, and one whose precise relation to Jostayn Terrian had never been privileged with the knowledge of. Still, it was a bit of a shock.

Menaihya paid both for the clothes and the damage to the woman's shop to the tune of grateful words for the seamstress before they left the shop. Devin seemed to have calmed as Terrian set him atop her horse before mounting herself. The odd trio of Aes Sedai and young child then made their way back through the ordered streets of the city of Cairhien proper. Out in the Foregate, the outskirts of the city beyond the walls, order was nothing more than a word, an abstract idea. It showed such a marked difference between the nobility and the peasantry of the land that it came close to seeming foolish. Still, Terrian found that she didn't entirely dislike Cairhien. Although, her first visit to the city was turning out rather eventfully. She didn't plan upon leaving until who had so desperately wanted to get their hands on Korl Lorien had been revealed. If the nobles wanted to play Daes Dae'mar with the White Tower, Terrian would play; she had no intention of losing either.

It wasn't long before the group arrived back at the ambassador's residence and let their mounts be taken by the grooms to be brushed and stabled again. Catching one of the servants, Terrian said, "You will tell the Ambassador that we require a word with him as soon as he has the chance." The servant bowed and made to leave, but Terrian stopped him again. "One more thing, I will need to meet with Asha'man Jostayn sometime in the next few days when his schedule permits as well." The man bowed again and hurried to the task he had been set.

"What was that about?" Menaihya asked quietly as they entered by way of the front.

"We need to discuss this business of Korl with him. Not only does he have a right to know, but he is the Ambassador to Cairhien and he might be able to point us in a direction to start looking for who would want the boy so badly they would resort to obvious kidnapping." Terrian answered the question with the same quiet tone so as to avoid Devin, who was walking beside her with unusual quiet himself, hearing what was said. Light knew he had been through enough today that it wouldn't do to frighten him anymore. She chose not to say anything about her second request for a meeting with Jostayn. That meeting was for business that she was to carry out and it could wait a little longer.

OOC: Well, here we are finally! I got a post up. Yay! Yet, it seems to have done so little but provide an excuse to bring Jostayn back into the action. And maybe now he'll get to meet Devin...

  • I hate this city!Menaihya Sedai, Sat Apr 22 11:35
    “Wouldn’t this look just splendid on you?” The man didn’t exactly await her word of acquiescence, or anything that she said, for that matter, because he began taking down the reels of silk from their ... more
    • We're Not in Tar Valon Anymore... — Terrian Dy'ner Sedai, Sat May 13 14:54
      • Dinner TalkMenaihya Sedai, Mon May 15 09:59
        ‘As soon as he has the chance’ turned out to be a while thereon. Even as they wound their way up the staircase and approached their chambers, Menaihya silently mulling over what Terrian had so... more
        • We Need to TalkTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Sat May 20 20:38
          For days afterward, Terrian pondered what to do; what lead to follow. She found that as she had grown into her role in the Ajah, so had her need to plan and think through things even though she knew... more
          • By Way of TalkAsha'man Jostayn Roen, Ambassador, Mon May 22 21:53
            The air in the study-parlor was warm, almost too warm, despite that the tall windows placed in intervals throughout the chamber were each cracked open an inch, every once in a while permitting a... more
            • A PropositionTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Fri Jun 9 20:14
              There had been a time, it seemed so very long ago now, when she would have shifted nervously waiting for the door to open, a time when her hands would have gone to smooth a skirt that had no need of... more
              • Mental ShearingAsha'man Jostayn Roen, Fri Jun 16 00:37
                Women had the knack of surprising even the most placid and composed of people, even such of the breed as Black Tower diplomats. “Oh, how I wish this could be a pleasant chat for the both of us,” the... more
                • Binding WordsTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Sat Jun 17 20:40
                  Somehow, Terrian had allowed herself to forget that the man she was speaking with was not an Aes Sedai as she was. It was a thought only occurring to her now that he may lie if he did not wish to... more
                  • Forgotten ScarsAsha'man Jostayn Roen, Ambassador, Wed Jun 21 10:20
                    “…I am glad we have established that,” were her cool words, and, without exaggeration, her words were cool. “But while we speak of assumptions, let me point out that you make a few of your own.” She... more
                    • Fresh WoundsTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Mon Jul 31 10:33
                      "Before that," the words lowed without hesitation, no trace of the reluctance she had expected to hear in the Asha'man's voice, "I was Derowyn Lorien of House Lorien." Exactly as her research had... more
Click here to receive daily updates