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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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?