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Session 7 (Kheldar)

Played on 2004/10/10

As written by the hand of Kheldar

22nd Day of Danu, 999 NE

Travelling the western bank of the Eldar has become quite as entertaining as travelling the eastern bank was for the last five days: humid, oppressively warm, the air thick with musquito's - the ideal holiday for the time of the year.

It still is incredulous to me to think that the Feast of Light is less than a tenday away. This should have been a time to huddle around the fire with friends, telling tales of long-forgotten (and not so long forgotten) times. Instead, I am travelling with three Accepted and a none-too-smart country girl with a big sword towards Ebou Dar, city of intrigue.

The endless miles of travelling have been wearisome to most, although Tadra seemed to be more at ease in the natural surroundings. The roads have been steadily growing more crowded, and it seems as if the Accepted - Eleya in particular - seem pleased by the prospect of something akin to civilisation.

Even before seeing the city, the difference between Tar Valon and Ebou Dar are becoming clear by the (in my eyes) strange style in which the Ebou Dari clothe and behave themselves. No hip lacks a dagger, and many an arm, leg or face carries the markings of one or more fierce duels. As the young shepherd said to his dog when walking into the Aiel Waste, "This is not Two Rivers no more, Amergo".

Our little group follows the road entering the city, until it ends at a canal. I get the distinct impression that many of these people have noticed something special about us. Maybe they're not used to see people riding in such large numbers at the same time, I'm not sure...

I go in for a quick investigation after having tried our luck at several inns, all of which were supposedly "full". I quickly learn from the barmaid that Aes Sedai are not exactly welcome in the city. If they visit, they usually go to the palace to visit the Queen, just as those two who were here two weeks ago did.

Having conveyed this to the others, they promptly head for the palace. In my opinion this is beckoning disaster, but by the Light, I could use some amusement at the very least. And if things go more smoothly than I foresee, I will at least have had a glance at the court - something which at the very least would help me to better relate the splendour of courts in my stories.

Well, I was wrong in my estimation. We were admitted to the Queen on very short notice. Apparently, living in Tar Valon and working at the Tower have somewhat dulled my perception of the Sisterhood. As it is written, "The fear of the unknown can be defeated by the Light of understanding."

The audience granted by the Queen might have proven very useful, if only Be'hlarah (or any of us for that matter) would have had a clue as to what we are to do here. Oh sure, we are supposed to find two Sisters and a Darkfriend with a very conspicuous scar. As to the two Sisters, the Queen could not help us except to confirm they had visited. The matter of the Darkfriend was a subject that Be'hlarah had the good sense to avoid.

All in all, the most useful aspect of our visit to the palace (except for a real-life experience at meeting a Queen and her entourage) was her directing us to an inn. May the Light shine brightly tomorrow, for today we have made enough of a fool of ourselves... Going to a Queen for a recommendation to an inn, for the love of the Light!

I do feel I must add the Queen directed us to a splendid inn that we no doubt lack the means to afford. After many a twisty road through the bustling city, we arrive at the the appropriately named Tylin's Blessing. As our Accepted, who coaxed us into settling in this establishment, seem not to make an issue out of our obvious lack of funding for this establishment, I feel confident in ignoring this trifling little matter as well.

That evening I head out and make a quick round of the local taverns. People are hot-blooded here, a chance remark might get you into a duel. Above that, my previous presumption concerning Aes Sedai is proven correct, at least for the innkeepers: they have an active dislike towards the Sisterhood.

Apart from the gossip surrounding the Queen and her son, I learn also that two Sisters have been sighted some two weeks ago at the palace square. Not much for a nights' worth, then again, maybe in the morning this will aid us in our search.

23rd Day of Danu, 999 NE

As I had planned to inform the rest of my results of last night, I am up quite early and awaiting the ladies at breakfast. The wait proves to be a long one: the comforts of civilisation are lavishly perused by Eleya, and even Tadra is cajoled into taking a bath.

After a bath or two, three, Eleya sees fit to join our little gathering. The information gathered from my little excursion is swiftly recounted, and plans are laid for the day. Elaine Sedai and Nyneave Sedai are the object of our quest for today, and we will start to search for them in the local inns.

Although the innkeepers as a lot remain quite guarded in front of the Accepted (which they invariably have noticed, according to their constant glancing towards their rings), we still receive answers to our questions. Sadly, these only confirm what we knew concerning the two Sisters but are of little use in our task.

While walking in the direction of another inn, there is a bustle up ahead in the street. A flock of men, dressed in green uniforms adorned with a single, blue feather, is making their way swiftly through the throng of the city. In their midst walks a man with a conspicuous scar: a scar running around his neck. Naturally, we follow this man.

At the docks the group boards a waiting boat, coloured the same as the guards. The air with which they crashed through the throng is even for this city incredible, and the confidence with which they hold themselves seems to indicate they expect a modicum of respect from those whom they pass.

Of course we try to establish this person's identity. For some reason, everyone seems very closemouthed on this subject. However, Eleya's fine figure manages to accomplish what tact alone could not: the man is known as Raab Kirklin of House Karistovan.

Our attempts to hire a boat to cross the river to follow Kirpling's boat accross the river into the other, seedier half of the city are met with resistance. The captain of the vessel our eye had fallen upon feels he cannot take the Accepted along as they are now dressed. According to him, they would not last long on the other side in these clothes.

We decide to address his worries, as they may prove sound advice. However, this will have to wait until morning. As we head back towards Tylin's Blessing, the group is more animated than it has been of late. This little lead has certainly had a positive effect upon us.


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