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>Sandcat RPG stuff >Wheel Of Time Campaign >Chapters (Session logs) >Session 8 (Kheldar)

Session 8 (Kheldar)

Played on 2004/10/17

As written by the hand of Kheldar

24th Day of Danu, 999 NE

Aaah, I had forgotten how tedious shopping can be! Especially if, against your better judgement, you tag along with a couple of women out to buy new clothes. The mental agony could be classified as torture! Eleya trying to buy inconspicuous clothes that still allow her gracious figure to stand out and attract attention... Light!

As if that is not enough, back at Tylin's Blessing there follows quite a discussion on the carrying of the Aes Sedai ring. Now I understand that this is a serious responsibility, and that the ring should not be taken lightly. But this is an individual decision, as the ladies should well know. They look to eachother for direction, but lack the experience needed.

Finally, we head out. Over most of the twisting streets and roads, ropes have been strung to carry lights overhead. The Feast of Light is celebrated much more openly than it is in Tar Valon. Of course, this is not really strange, considering the difference in climate. In Tar Valon there is (or rather: would have been) little reason to venture outside in this time of year, whle the weather here would probably have been more temperate as it is located much further south and is a seaport.

Although such a reasoning might explain the origins of the way in which the Feast of Light is celebrated, the oppressive heat in this city is scarcely mitigated by the fresh wind blowing from sea. A couple of streets away from the sea, that breeze can hardly be felt and the heavy weather is once again inflicted upon the people.

We notice this once more as we head out towards the riverside of the city. Although Karistovan's boat is still missing from its blue feathered green dock, the friendly captain to whom we talked yesterday is readily found.

We are speedily and skillfully fared accross. During the trip, the captain explains that the part of Ebou Dar we are heading for is called the "Rahad" and it is a lawless and dangerous place. Duels are the norm, and a stray look might provoke one. I must admit I do not pay his remarks my full attention, as I am elated by the feel of the salt wind on my face and the sight of the endless sea to my right - or starboard, as it is called.

As soon as we set foot upon the docks of the Rahad, we are beset by beggars. The captain attempts to keep them away from us, but this is in vain. The city before us is an even bigger maze than the other side. There do not seem to be streets or roads as such; all that is leading from the docks are small alleys, flanked by houses built higher than wise is using their materials. In some places, the only thing preventing the buildings from toppling over, is that they lean against an equally toppled building opposite of it.

As we start our search for House Karistovan's boat, we are sticking to the harbour for now. After a short while I get the distinct impression we are being followed. I turn to Be'hlarah, who happens to be walking next to me. At the same time we mention "see that?". Tadra notices this and turns around to stare in the direction. "I don't see anything," she remarks. Well, gosh jolly no.

There follows a short discussion on what to do about our apparent followers. It is decided that I tail the group at a short distance in order to learn what I may, so I leave. From some distance, I see Tadra feeling at her hip. She turns around, grabs a walker-by by the shoulder and speaks harshly towards him. Probably she has been bereft of her purse. Yup, this side is definately different from the other.

Tadra is making quite a scene. Tension is running high, and an expectant crowd gathers around the two. A sudden hush falls over the crowd as the accused draws his dagger and proclaims that his honour has been sullied. He demands a duel unto first blood.

The reality of the situation does not seem to sink into Tadra. Slowly, she draws her longsword (to the astonished mutters of some of the spectators). Her challenger waits calmly until she is ready. The attention of the crowd is geared towards the coming clash.

A perfect opportunity to check thoroughly if I can spot our mysterious followers. But alas, no trace is to be found. Seeing as Tadra has probably gotten herself into this over a lost pouch, I decide to hone my skills. A victim is easily found and his belongings removed. Now just add a nice little story for Tadra and maybe she'll forget the incident.

Tadra's blood flows first, from a tiny prick. Her assailant seems satisfied and is congratulated by various members of the crowd. As the din rises once more to average levels, Tadra seems to speak to her foe. I cannot hear her exact words, but the impact upon her adversary is profound. The smile fades from his face, he dons a regal and injured look and steps over to Tadra. Naturally, the crowd assumes its previous position.

Of course, the whole spectrum of subtilities involved is completely lost on Tadra. Well, the poor fellow did fight fairly, however, if he keeps acting like this he will end up on Tadra's sword. As he grabs her shoulder and turns her around, Tadra lays her sword accross his neck. This calms his manner perceptibly, but I am quite positive that his stubbornness will land him between the Blight and the Dark Mountain (proverbially speaking, of course).

A duel unto death is proclamed. Poor fellow. In just a few minutes, the guy is history. The crowd seems unpleased by the outcome and quickly disperses. As we continue our path, several people dressed in Karistovan outfit come upon the scene, heading towards the body.

From a short distance I note that my companions are taking trouble to avoid them as much as possible. They follow the docks for a short while, only to suddenly stop and (after a short exchange) turn around. Women!!!

I make sure they do not bump into me. As soon as they have passed, I commence pursuing them once more. Still, there is no sign of those that followed us earlier on. They watch the dealings of the Karistovan's closely, and as the body is carried away on a litter, they follow. Their attempts at stealth are pathetic, and I make a mental note to provide some instruction in the matter.

To make a long story short, we have followed them to their base of operations and then headed out from the smelly, much too warm alleys back to the harbour. There I merge with the group once more, and we decide to discuss our options in a somewhat more private place.

In the seedy tavern I take the opportunity to pass Tadra the ill-gotten purse, along with a nice tale of how it was gotten. She is somewhat happy, but apparently she took her entire life savings along and now has only what she took from her opponent and what I gave her.

The ladies all seem to think that a look should be taken at this house Karistovan's base of operations. I was their first and only choice for this operation. Well, truth be told I cared little for breaking and entering into the base of the local bullies, but the ladies were adamant. I had to agree that I was their best choice for such a job, but not necessarily executed as they planned.

Be all that as it may, I could not see how breaking and entering the Karistovan stronghold would help us. Of course, it is possible to wander around aimlessly after having gained entrance. This is perhaps the quickest way to be detected. So a different tactic was needed.

A bluff was most likely to work. And the best lies are close to the truth. Those were my ingredients, getting to talk with this Raab Kirklin was my goal. In my mind I went over a dozen possibilities, some recipes for disaster, others leading only to a door slammed in my face. I needed a link, something to lend credibility to my presence. Suddenly I hit upon it: Lord Furlan!

Lord Furlan would in all likelyhood have some sort of connection to this Kirklin fellow. Pretending to be sent by Furlan would, in all probability, establish some sort of background which would provide some "common ground".

Now for the details. Why would Furlan send me? Well, since I could not pass for an ordinary messenger, it would have to be something out of the ordinary. So what extraordinary events have happened to Furlan? The Whitecloak invasion of his estate (which must have been profoundly upsetting to his plans), and the murder of Eadrica Sedai.

Actually, if Raab was indeed our man, he might have come round to aid in ridding the estate of Whitecloaks. So my best bet would be that the foul murder had some unforeseen consequences. What could they be, I pondered...

Undesirable attention seemed the most plausible. That sounded pretty lame - especially considering that it was most reasonable to assume that one of these Darkfriends was the superior to the other. But, should that point come up, I could always make vague allusions to another order being given. Fortunately, the Darkfriend hierarchy made it easy to fit such a story in: according to many a tale, a Halfman could contact a Darkfriend and boss him around. Of course, these fey creatures presented neither rhyme nor reason for their orders.

It might actually be interesting to see what reaction this Raab would give, if he learned that he was out of the loop. Anyway, I agreed to the group and we shortly parted company, vowing to make a rendez-vous later at Tylin's Blessing.

I traced my step back to the Karistovan building, fell into my role and boldly opened the door. There was a short exchange, during which a couple of things became clear to me. Most noticable among them was, that this was an outpost, so little chance of meeting the fellow here.

Next on the list was that there existed indeed a connection, which was at least so firm that the occupants expected any true Furlan flunky to know this. Great, there went my bluff. It was at this moment I realised I had forgotten to disguise myself. I silently swore.

Well, there was no holding back for it. Surmising that my best bet might still be to stick to my role, with a vague explanation of why I was unaware of the circumstances, seemed best. I had adopted the air of someone who has been travelling long and hard and is tired, frustated and quite pissed off - as I had planned that Furlan would be pissed off in my little story.

So I stuck to my role, and was shortly apprehended and tossed unceremoniously into a cell for "a night". I felt somewhat at ease by that remark, and decided first to clarify for myself what my adventure had gained me so far.

I had learned the following from the short discussion with the commander:

  • There is a close connection between Furlan and Kirklin
  • It seems that Kirklin is higher in the hierarchy than Furlan
  • Furlan's men ought to be accustomed to the established protocols at Karistovan's
  • Raab visiting here would be cause to celebrate, so this establishment must be some sort of outpost, and Raab's residence is in al likelyhood situated on the western bank of the river
  • Raab's men are the official law on the eastern bank - the Rahad

Well, at least I do not remain empty-handed. As I hungrily await my dinner, I ponder my options: attempt a jailbreak, or refine my story to explain for the displayed discrepancies?

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